Gaia News

 

2023-12-19 Gaia celebrates 10 years in space!

Having been launched on 19 December 2013, Gaia has now spent 10 years in space! Today we celebrate these 10 amazing years with 10 science topis, starting with Gaia's impact on Earth with stellar occultation, and moving out into the Solar System and further into the Milky Way and beyond. Gaia has impacted almost every field in astronomy, with data releases based mostly on its first 34 months of observations. Exciting new data is expected with Gaia's data release 4 which will cover 66 months of observations!

 

2023-12-14 Gaia's 10 years in space kick off with a celebratory logo

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5... days left to ESA Gaia's 10 years in space. Let's start the celebrations with this special Gaia Mission logo designed by Mariasole Agazzi and Albert Masip Vela in collaboration with Rosanna Sordo and Federico di Giacomo, members of the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium. More coming up in the following days... keep tuned!

2023-11-24 Science Advisory Membership - Call for expressions of interest

ESA has published a call for expressions of interest to become a member of the "Astronomy Working Group", the "Solar System and Exploration Working Group" and the "Space Science Advisory Committee". Through this call, the ESA Director of Science invites scientists affiliated with institutions in the ESA Member States to express their interest in being a member.

Full details on this call can be found from this page. The deadline for expressions of interest is 22 January 2024 at noon 12:00 CET.

2023-11-16 Two traineeship positions available in the Gaia mission

ESA's 2024 trainee positions have been published now, with two of them in the Gaia mission. The first one is at ESTEC in the Netherlands with the topic: "A Gaia view of the constellations across time" which aims to explore the evolution of the constellations, which is not visually susceptible over the lifetime of humans and hence not easy to grasp. Use will be made of Gaia's data to visualise, in a scientifically accurate way, the stellar content of arbitrary constellations at arbitrary moments in time, up to (dozens or hundreds of) millennia in the past or future. More details on this position can be found here: https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/esac-trainees/a-gaia-view-of-the-constellations-across-time.

The second topic is on periodicity in billions of Gaia astrometric time series and would be supervised from ESAC in Spain. Gaia's fourth data release (GDR4) will contain series of highly-accurate positional measurements for more than 2 billion astronomical sources. These astrometric timeseries carry a wealth of information of astrophysical and technical nature, but only a small fraction are searched for periodic patterns beyond parallax by the Gaia data processing pipelines. The goal of this project is to enable the source-specific discovery of periodic astrometric signals across the entire GDR4 dataset, which will make it possible to discover and study phenomena related to binary stars, black holes, exoplanets, instrumental effects, survey artefacts, and much more.  More details on this internship can be found here: https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/esac-trainees/periodicity-in-billions-of-gaia-astrometric-timeseries.

2023-11-07 Issues with ESA email infrastructure - resend emails please

The email traffic passing through our ESA email infrastructure was heavily affected in the period between Sunday 5 November 00:01 CET and Monday 6 November 19:30 CET. If you send an email to an ESA person, to our Gaia Helpdesk, or to any of our Gaia mailing lists with an address ending with @cosmos.esa.int or @sciops.esa.int, then please be aware that this email has not arrived at all. Please resend these emails if they are still relevant.

Please also be aware that because of this issue, notifications coming from some of our Gaia Collaboration systems were not sent. If you updated Gaia Jira or other systems that would usually send a notifications, consider making the watchers aware of the updates made.

Finally, also the self-registration system was affected by this issue. This issue should be solved now and registering for an account with Gaia should be working again. Our apologies for the inconvenience.

 

2023-10-31 Gaia scanning law published for the full operational mission period

The Gaia scanning law pointings for the data collection period underlying Gaia (E)DR3 are available from the Gaia ESA Archive in a table named "gaiadr3.commanded_scan_law". Here we provide an additional and complementary data set, namely the commanded scanning law pointings over the full mission interval (from 2014-07-25 10:31:26 TCB to 2025-06-30 23:59:56 TCB), including the Ecliptic Pole Scanning at the beginning of the mission. As in the case of the Gaia (E)DR3 table, the data presented here contains the attitude as commanded in the past and as currently planned to be commanded in the future. The actually realised attitude of the spacecraft could deviate from it by up to about 30 arcsec. The time interval, in particular the end date in summer 2025, is excepted to contain the full operational mission period. Obviously, the precise end of spacecraft operations is not yet defined. Find full details here.

 

2023-10-31 Vacancy for Gaia Project Scientist

At the European Space Agency, there is an opening for the position Gaia project scientist. The vacancy notice can be found here from the ESA jobs website. Deadline for the application is 6 November. The location for this position would be either ESAC (Madrid, Spain) or ESTEC (Noordwijk, The Netherlands).

Full details regarding the profile can be found from the vacancy notice: https://jobs.esa.int/job/Noordwijk-Project-Scientist/994659001/

2023-10-13 Gaia FPR known issue published

A Gaia FPR known issue was added recently on the topic of solar system objects: Error in the description field of epoch_state_vector of gaiafpr.sso_source. In the description of the field epoch_state_vector of the sso_source table, the origin of the epoch is wrongly given as JD2457907.5 TCB. The correct value is JD2455197.5 TCB (1 January 2010.0).  This will be corrected in the future in our data model and documentation. Once corrected there, we will update this known issue accordingly.

2023-10-13 Gaia Focused Product Release is out!

On 10 October 2023 Gaia published its Focused Product Release. On the overview page, links to all relevant information related to this release are provided. The documentation for this release is covered mostly by the Gaia Focused Product Release papers, for which links are available from the Gaia FPR papers page. The data release documentation is complementary to the papers and is available as PDF and through our webpages. Please be aware of a few known issues published for the solar system objects.

The data is available from the Gaia Archive and our partner data centres.

Full overview of the data products and their applications is given in our Gaia FPR stories. One story per data product has been published. A press release was prepared by ESA Communications and is available from this webpage. More press releases were written by Gaia DPAC institutes, these press releases are available from the Gaia FPR events page.

 

On 10 October and the few days following the release, several events were organized across Europe and in Brazil. Some of these events were recorded, and the recordings have been made available from our events page.

2023-09-29 ESA Archival Research Visitor Programme

To increase the scientific return from its space science missions, the European Space Agency (ESA) welcomes applications from scientists interested in pursuing research projects based on data publicly available in the ESA Space Science Archives.

The ESA Archival Research Visitor Programme is open to scientists, at all career levels, affiliated with institutes in ESA Member States and Collaborating States. Early-career scientists (within 10 years of the PhD) are particularly encouraged to apply. Applications by PhD students are also welcome.

During their stay, visiting scientists will have access to archives and mission specialists for help with the retrieval, calibration, and analysis of archival data. In principle, all areas of space research covered by ESA science missions can be supported.

Residence lasts typically between one and three months, also distributed over multiple visits. Research projects can be carried out at ESAC (Madrid, Spain) and at ESTEC (Noordwijk, Netherlands). To offset the expenses incurred by visitors, ESA covers travel costs from and to the home institution and provides support for lodging expenses and meals.

Applications received before 1 November 2023 will be considered for visits in spring and summer 2024.

For further details, including areas of research and contact information, please refer to https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/esdc/visitor-programme or write to the programme coordinators at arvp@cosmos.esa.int.

2023-09-20 Gaia Focused Product release update

On Wednesday 20 September the webpage listing all planned events for the Gaia Focused Product Release was published. Interested to join one of the events, or watch some of the recordings afterwards? The page will be updated with the direct links to the livestreams available (once known) and will help you find your way to the different written press releases in the days following the data release.

Gaia's Focused Product Release (Gaia FPR) is planned for 10 October 2023, and data will become available around 12:00 CEST. The Gaia FPR data model to prepare for the data sets is now also available for download from our webpages.

 

2023-08-28 Gaia Symposium at EAS

On 10 and 11 July 2023, the symposium "Gaia: The (TWO) Billion Star Galaxy Census: The Magic of Gaia DR3" was held. A wealth of research was presented at this symposium making use of Gaia's latest data releases. More details were presented on the expected contents of Gaia's Focused Product Release as well, expected on 10 October 2023. The presentations of this symposium are now online from the webpage of the "Great Plenary Meeting: PM16 / EAS Science Symposium S3".

2023-08-28 Gaia DPAC Solar System Objects team honoured by the "Asteroid Comet Meteorites" Science Organization Committee

On 21 June 2023, the Asteroid Comet Meteorites SOC honoured the collaborators of the Solar System Objects (SSO) team of the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium. They did so with asteroid nominations, naming 4 asteroids after members of the Gaia DPAC SSO team.

  • (30264) Galluccio
  • (32607) Portell
  • (33437) Ordenovic
  • (35623) Pedrodavid

Full citation and details can be found from the last bulletin of the IAU working group for small body names.

2023-08-28 ESA research fellowships in space science

ESA's postdoctoral Research Fellowship programme offers early-career scientists and engineers the possibility to carry out research in a variety of disciplines related to Space Science, Space Applications or Space Technology.

The Research Fellowships in Space Science specifically offer the opportunity to contribute to ESA's endeavour to explore our Solar System and the Universe, in the fields of Heliophysics, Planetary Science, Astrophysics and Fundamental Physics. Appointments are for a maximum of three years. The initial project is for two years, an extension for a third year is frequently ranted following a dedicated proposal for extension.

The call for applications will open very soon now, for the fellowships starting in autumn 2024, with a deadline for applications on 18 September 2023.

More information on the Research Fellowship programme is available at https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/space-science-faculty/opportunities/research-fellowships.

2023-08-24 Gaia mission news

Gaia continues to operate nominally toward its 10th launch anniversary on 19 December this year. The current estimate of the remaining lifetime is about 1.5 years. In the first quarter of 2025 Gaia is expected to run out of cold gas, the gas used to maintain its highly precise scanning attitude.

Data processing performed by Gaia DPAC is progressing nominally toward Gaia DR4. The release is expected not before the end of 2025 and contains catalogues and data obtained during the first 66 months of operations.

Data processing for the final Gaia DR5 will start immediately after the end of spacecraft operations. ESA and the leading funding agencies supporting Gaia DPAC have extended the Multi-Lateral Agreement to ensure the delivery of Gaia DR5 that is anticipated not before the end of 2030.

2023-08-23 Share your feedback on ESA Astronomy Science Archives and ESASky

Do you use any of the ESA Astronomy science archives or ESASky? If so, we are eagerly seeking your valuable feedback! At ESA we are committed to providing you with the best possible experiences when accessing and utilizing our Astronomy Science Archives and the ESASky tool. To ensure that the services we offer meet your needs and expectations effectively, we have launched a short survey that aims to gather your insights and suggestions.

The survey is designed to be concise, taking no more than 10 minutes to complete. It covers various aspects of the Astronomy archives, including EXOSAT, Gaia, Herschel, HST, ISO, JWST, Lisa Pathfinder, Planck, XMM-Newton, and the ESASky tool itself. And at the end there are optional questions where you can provide us with more detailed feedback.

Your opinion matters! By participating in this survey, you have the opportunity to shape the future of these resources and help us enhance your experience. We genuinely appreciate your willingness to dedicate just a few minutes of your time to provide us with your feedback.

2023-08-11 How Gaia helps measure space weather

Yesterday a story was published by ESA Enabling & Support about Solar System fingerprints found in memories of ESA flotilla. Gaia's engineering data can be used to measure the space weather at L2. A paper discussing this topic has been published: "Solar Energetic Particle Events Detected in the Housekeeping Data of the European Space Agency's Spacecraft Flotilla in the Solar System".

This composite image shows a SOHO image of the Sun and an artist's impression of Earth's magnetosphere. Source Copyright: Magnetosphere: NASA, the Sun: ESA/NASA - SOHO

2023-07-12 Contents description for Gaia's Focused Product Release

The following pages were published for the Gaia Focused Product Release: an overview page to lead you to the relevant material on this release, a papers page listing the exptected papers and a contents summary page, where more details on the expected data products is given.

2023-05-26 Gaia Focused Product Release planned for 10 October 2023

Gaia's data release scenario page has been updated with the planned date for publication of the Gaia Focused Product Release. Save the date: Tuesday 10 October new Gaia data will become available.

The Focused Product Release will be consisting of:

  • Updated astrometry for Solar System objects.
  • Astrometry and photometry from engineering images taken in selected regions of high source density (only Omega Cen for this FPR).
  • The first results of quasars' environment analysis for gravitational lenses search.
  • Extended radial velocity epoch data for Long Period Variables.
  • Diffuse Interstellar Bands from aggregated RVS spectra.

Each data product in this Focused Product Release will be accompanied by a Gaia Collaboration paper. More information on the expected contents of this Focused Product Release will be published soon.

2023-05-10 GaiaUnlimited Community workshop in  October

From October 4 to 6 2023 the second GaiaUnlimited community workshop will take place in Torino, Italy. The GaiaUnlimited project aims at determining the Gaia survey selection function and providing corresponding data and tools.

The workshop's theme is the Gaia selection function and how to use it. This event will be a three-day workshop and unconference, where we will discuss and learn from each other about the finer details of the Gaia selection function and how to build and use it in various contexts.

Participants will be working with the updated GaiaUnlimited selection function tools, for which assitance will be provided as needed, and which will be improved based on the feedback received. We hope this workshop could lead to some new collaborations or initial joint studies. We want to dedicate a significant amount of time to unconference sessions and informal discussions.

Sign up for the workshop (there is no conference fee)

There will be space for about 40 participants. Registration is open until June 15. After selection based on the registration form, invitations will be sent out to attend the workshop on July 1.

2023-05-08 Team Achievement Award for the Gaia mission

The Gaia misson won the 2019 ESA DG Team Achievement Award. Celebrations were delayed due to the pandemic and took place today on 8 May 2023. A space mission is constructed and thought through by many people, from industry to the science community and ESA, from engineers to financial and IT. Together we make it happen!

2023-05-05 Known issue on two false-positive sources in the astrometric binary solutions.

During validation of epoch astrometry for Gaia DR4, an error was discovered, that had already had an impact on the Gaia DR3 non-single star results. The investigation showed that two specific targets suffered of this software bug. We can conclude that the solutions for Gaia DR3 4698424845771339520 (WD 0141-675; also the entry in gaiadr3.binary_masses is no longer valid as it was based on the orbit solution) and Gaia DR3 5765846127180770432 (HIP 64690) both are false-positives as far as Gaia non-single star processing is concerned. Note that the astrometric and other parameters of these objects in the gaiadr3.gaia_source table in the archive are not affected by this issue. Investigations continue to assess if any additional sources have been impacted. Find this known issue also here.

2023-04-04 ESA Archival Research Visitor Programme

To increase the scientific return from its space science missions, the European Space Agency (ESA) welcomes applications from scientists interested in pursuing research projects based on data publicly available in the ESA Space Science Archives.

The ESA Archival Research Visitor Programme is open to scientists, at all career levels, affiliated with institutes in ESA Member States and Collaborating States. Early-career scientists (within 10 years of the PhD) are particularly encouraged to apply. Applications by PhD students are also welcome.

During their  stay, visiting scientists will have access to archives and mission specialists for help with the retrieval, calibration, and analysis of archival data. In principle, all areas of space research covered by ESA science missions can be supported.

Residence lasts typically between one and three months, also distributed over multiple visits. Research projects can be carried out at ESAC (Madrid, Spain) and at ESTEC (Noordwijk, Netherlands). To offsert the expenses incurred by visitors, ESA covers travel costs from and to the home institution and provides support for lodging expenses and meals.

Applications received before 1 May 2023 will be considered for visits in autumn 2023 and winter 2024.

For further details, including areas of research and contact information, please refer to the ESA Archival Research Visitor Programme website or write to the programme coordinators.

2023-03-13 6th DPAC consortium meeting kicks off

Gaia's Data Processing and Analysis Consortium is responsible for the transfer of the Gaia raw data into Gaia scientific data products, made available from the Gaia archive and its partner data centres as data releases. The consortium consists of more than 450 scientists, engineers and software developers from across Europe and beyond. Due to the pandemic, meeting in person with a large fraction of the collaboration was not possible in the past few years. Today, the 6th Gaia DPAC consortium meeting kicks off and promises to bring a full week of preparations for Gaia's Focused Product Release (planned in Q4 2023) and Gaia's Data Release 4 (not expected before the end of 2025).

2023-02-20 Gaia Archive shortly down for maintenance tomorrow

Tomorrow, Tuesday 20 February 11:00 and 11:30 CET, the Gaia Archive will be shortly down for maintenance.

2023-02-07 Updates to the Gaia Archive data tables and Gaia DR3 known issue "Variability: planetary transits"

Today, three tables have been added to the Gaia Data Release 3 catalogue in the Gaia Archive:

Following the updated table gaiadr3.vari_planetary_transit, the Gaia DR3 known issue "Variability: planetary transits" was updated as well reflecting the changes made to the name of the erroneous table. The information of this known issue is copied below:

The Gaia DR3 table named vari_planetary_transit contains information on the period and other properties (transit reference time, depth, duration, etc.) of 41 new planetary transit candidates and 173 known exoplanets (Eyer et al. 2022, Panahi et al. 2022). The data in the table gaiadr3.vari_planetary_transit, originally published on 13 June 2022 with solution_id = 375316653866487564, contained serious errors and users were advised on 23 June 2022 not to use them.

On 7 February 2023 at 11:00 CET, the original, erroneous table was renamed to gaiadr3.vari_planetary_transit_13june2022 and replaced by a new table with the (original) name gaiadr3.vari_planetary_transit and solution_id = 375523436409132247. This change applies to the table available from the Gaia ESA Archive as well as from the bulk-download repository.

Finally, these changes have been incorporated into the Gaia data release documentation along with updates to the executive summary and the references to some papers. A new version "Gaia data release 3 documentation version 1.2" has been released today as well.

2023-02-07 Graduate Trainee positions at ESA

The ESA graduate trainee positions for 2023 have been published, and one of them covers activities for the Gaia mission. Applications for the position "Young Graduate Trainee in Machine-Learning Techniques Application for Astrometry - Gaia" are welcome. Deadline for applications is 28 February 2023.

If you have any questions on the ESA graduate positions, an information session is held today at 20:00 CET and on 16 February as well. More info can be found here.

2023-02-06 Short downtime for the Gaia Archive

​​​​​​The Gaia Archive will be shortly down on Tuesday 7 February between 10:00 and 11:00 CET for a micro data release update. More details can be found in the release notes once the Gaia Archive is back up.

2023-01-17 Gaia Archive upgrade to version 3.2.1

Tomorrow, Wednesday 18 January between 11:00 and 12:00 CET, the Gaia Archive will be upgraded to a new version 3.2.1 and will be down for maintenance for a short while.

2023-01-12 Gaia Focused Product Release

The anticipated contents of the Gaia Focused Product Release are summarized below. These data sets are based on 34 months of data (same period covering Gaia's data release 3) with the exception of the updated astrometry for Solar System objects, which will be based on an extended period of data. With respect to the previous announcement, the pre-main sequence accretion parameters have been postponed to Gaia's data release 4.

  • Astrometry and photometry from engineering images taken in selected regions of high source density (only Omega Cen for this FPR).
  • The first results of quasars' environment analysis for gravitational lenses search.
  • Extended radial velocity epoch data for Long Period Variables.
  • Diffuse Interstellar Bands from aggregated RVS spectra.
  • Pre-main sequence accretion parameters (postponed to Gaia DR4)
  • Updated astrometry for Solar System objects

Gaia Focused Product Release is anticipated in quarter 4 of 2023. The processing for Gaia data release 4 is currently ongoing and its publication is expected not before the end of 2025.

2023-01-09 Gaia DR3 known issues on synthetic photometry

Today two new Gaia DR3 known issues have been published: "Synthetic photometry: Wrong units in SDSS and PS1 flux and flux error fields in table gaiadr3.synthetic_photometry_gspc" and "Synthetic photometry: Error in the PS1 synthetic photometry in table gaiadr3.synthetic_photometry_gspc​". Please have a look at the Gaia DR3 known issues page for the full details when making use of synthetic photometry table.

Regarding the known issue on "Variability: planetary transits", an update to this known issue can be expected early 2023.

2022-12-21 Gaia XPloration, announcement of a Gaia XP workshop

From 15 to 19 May 2023 the first meeting on the Gaia XP low resolution spectra, organized also by members the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium, will be held in Cambridge, UK. The aim of the workshop is to bring together DPAC members and the scientific community that benifits from the Gaia data, to discuss how to use the XP spectra, to understand and maximize the outputs from the various methods for inferring stellar parameters and abundances, how the spectra can be useful for the spectro-photometric calibration of ground-based data, and more. Last, but not least, by encouraging brainstorming and collective work, we hope to create new scientific opportunities that will lead to new collaborations.

You can sign up for the workshop here. There is no conference fee, but there is a limited room capacity. Registrations can be submitted until 1st of March 2023 and will be confirmed by 15th of March 2023.

2022-12-09 Vacancy for a Gaia position in Dresden

The Lohrmann Observatory, Technische Universität Dresden invites applications for a position of Research Associate to work for Gaia science and data processing within Gaia DPAC (Data Processing and Analysis Consortium). More information can be found here in the vacancy description PDF.

2022-11-17 Gaia Photometric Science Alerts at Risk

The Gaia Photometric Science Alerts consists of a pipeline feeding candidate transients into a web portal. This allows the community to follow up on potentially interesting events seen by Gaia immediately following observations taken. Currently, these Gaia Alerts are at risk due to a combination of factors. More info can be found from the news item published here  http://gsaweb.ast.cam.ac.uk/alerts/home.

2022-11-09 Gaia Collaboration to receive 2023 Berkeley Prize

The Gaia collaboration is being honored with the 2023 Lancelot M. Berkeley − New York Community Trust Prize for Meritorious Work in Astronomy for enabling a transformative, multidimensional map of the Milky Way. Since its launch in 2013, the European Space Agency’s Gaia space telescope has recorded stellar positions, distances, colors, and proper motions for nearly two billion stars in our galaxy. According to the prize statement, “Gaia’s three data releases will long be regarded as major events in the history of astronomy, triggering a global partnership to better understand the origin, structure, and destiny of our home galaxy.”

Full details in the announcement here: https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/gaia/news/2022-11-09-gaia-collaboration-to-receive-2023-berkeley-prize

08/11/2022 Internship positions with the Gaia mission

The 2023 internship opportunities at ESA have been published. Among them, three internship positions with the Gaia mission opened up:

Deadline for applications is 30 November.

More vacancies in the Gaia mission can be found here. Currently also an engineer / post-doc position at Paris Observatory is open.

2022-10-21 Three stories featuring the Gaia mission published across ESA websites

In the past two weeks, three stories featuring the Gaia mission were published across ESA websites. The first one is about stellar occultations, made possible with Gaia's exquisite star data: "Shadow hunters capture Didymos asteroid eclipsing stars" published by ESA Enabling & Support. The second one is the surprising detection of a gamma-ray burst by Gaia and many other ESA spacecraft: "ESA spacecraft catch the brightest ever gamma-ray burst" published by ESA Science & Exploration. The third one discusses near-Earth asteroids and how Gaia helps to improve their orbits: "30 000 near-Earth asteroids discovered and rising" published by ESA Space Safety.

2022-10-10 Gaia DR3 known issue affecting 2 sources in gaiadr3.gold_sample_spss

Please be alerted of the new known issue affecting 2 source ids of sources from the Gaia golden sample of astrophysical parameters. The known issue is given here for convenience, but can also be found on this page.

An error has occured in the gaiadr3.gold_sample_spss table. Namely two source_ids were incorrectly labelled. This concerns only the source_ids and no other data field. The error has been traced back to an early cross-match on the SPSS tables and we confirm that no other source has been affected by this.

Therefore in the current gaiadr3.gold_sample_spss, the following should be replaced:

  • SPSS_ID = 348, HD271783 has a true Gaia DR3 source_id = 5284204302730217984 and not 4887062351834002642
  • SPSS_ID = 115, G114-25 has a true Gaia DR3 source_id = 5757389920689415040 and not 4887524447164040921

2022-09-28 Updates to the Gaia science performance pages

The Gaia science performance pages have been updated following Gaia's data release 3. Now also the photometric and spectroscopic science performance have been updated with indication for the performance of Gaia DR4 and Gaia DR5. These pages can be found here.

2022-09-27 Future Gaia Data releases

The Gaia Data Release 3 (Gaia DR3) released 13 June 2022 covered 34 months of data. Already before this milestone, the processing for future releases had been proceeding. Gaia Data Release 4 (Gaia DR4) will cover 66 months of observations including all data from the nominal mission. In the current schedule the Gaia DR4 is anticipated to take place not before end of 2025. Unlike for Gaia EDR3/DR3, there are no plans to split Gaia DR4. However, some early tasters of very specific products will be provided in 2023.

This Focused Product Release (FPR) is planned to contain six different flavours of data:

  1. Updated astrometry for Solar System objects,
  2. Astrometry and photometry from engineering images taken in selected regions of high source density (only Omega Cen for this FPR),
  3. The first results of quasars' environment analysis for gravitational lenses search,
  4. Extended radial velocity epoch data for Long Period Variables,
  5. Pre-main sequence accretion parameters, and
  6. Diffuse Interstellar Bands from aggregated RVS spectra.

All these products will be expanded in Gaia DR4. The schedule for Gaia Data Release 5 (Gaia DR5), containing the nominal and extension periods of the mission fully, will be decided after the long term planning has been approved by ESA and the member states funding the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC).

2022-09-23 Shaw Prize award ceremony

In May 2022 it was announced that the Shaw Prize in Astronomy was awarded to Lennart Lindegren and Michael Perryman, for their "lifetime contributions to space astrometry, and in particular for their role in the conception and design of the European Space Agency's Hipparcos and Gaia missions."

Lennart Lindegren and Michael Perryman led the proposal for the Gaia Mission in 1993. Lennart Lindegren is a Professor Emeritus of Lund Observatory in Sweden, and is still active in the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium, more specifically on the Astrometric Global Iterative Solution. Michael Perryman is currently Adjunct Professor at the University College Dublin in Ireland and was Study Scientist and later Project Scientist for the Gaia mission in the period from 1995 to 2006.

More information on the awarded Shaw Prize can be found in this press release by the IAU and in this announcement by the Shaw Prize.

The Shaw Prize award ceremony will be livestreamed on 29 September through:

 

2022-06-24 Gaia DR3 known issue on planetary transits

The Gaia DR3 table named vari_planetary_transit contains information on the period and other properties (transit reference time, depth, duration, etc.) of 41 new planetary transit candidates and 173 known exoplanets (Eyer et al. 2022, Panahi et al. 2022). The data in this table contain serious errors and users are advised not to use them. A corrected table named vari_planetary_transit_corrected will be published as a Gaia DR3 known issue.

Go to the Gaia DR3 known issues here.

Selection of some interesting news from past years

 

2022-08-11 Gaia reveals the past and future of the Sun

Published now on esa.int/gaia a new story on Gaia's solar analogues, giving insight in the possible past and future of the Sun.

We all wish that we could sometimes see into the future. Now, thanks to the very latest data from ESA’s star mapping Gaia mission, astronomers can do just that for the Sun. By accurately identifying stars of similar mass and composition, they can see how our Sun is going to evolve in the future. And this work extends far beyond a little astrophysical clairvoyance.

Read the full story here.

 

2022-06-07 Jupiter’s moon Europa to obscure distant star

Latest story published by ESA on the stellar occultation by Europa on 19 June 2022. More details can be found here: https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Gaia/Jupiter_s_moon_Europa_to_obscure_distant_star.

 

2022-05-31 Media invitation for Gaia DR3 press briefing

ESA published today its invitation to the media for the Gaia DR3 press briefing on 13 June between 10:00 and 11:00 CEST. A media kit detailing the contents of the release has been published as well.

 

2022-05-25 Shaw prize for Lennart Lindegren and Michael Perryman

Yesterday, it was announced that the Shaw Prize in Astronomy was awarded to Lennart Lindegren and Michael Perryman, for their "lifetime contributions to space astrometry, and in particular for their role in the conception and design of the European Space Agency's Hipparcos and Gaia missions." "The Shaw Prize was established by Mr. Run Run Shaw in 2002, with a clear vision to honour contributors in Astronomy, Life Science and Medicine, and Mathematical Sciences, regardless of race, nationality, gender, and religious belief."

Lennart Lindegren and Michael Perryman led the proposal for the Gaia Mission in 1993. Lennart Lindegren is a Professor Emeritus of Lund Observatory in Sweden, and is still active in the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium, more specifically on the Astrometric Global Iterative Solution. Michael Perryman is currently Adjunct Professor at the University College Dublin in Ireland and was Study Scientist and later Project Scientist for the Gaia mission in the period from 1995 to 2006.

More information on the awarded Shaw Prize can be found in this press release by the IAU and in this announcement by the Shaw Prize.

 

 

2022-04-28 Publication of the Gaia CRF3 cross match table

A downloadable table providing the location of each of the Gaia CRF3 sources that define the Gaia Celestial Reference Frame has been published today on the Gaia DR3 auxiliary data page. The Gaia Collaboration paper "Gaia Early Data Release 3: The celestial reference frame (Gaia-CRF3) can be found here.

Image credit: Gaia Collaboration, S.A. Klioner, et al. 2022 A&A

 

2022-03-23 Gaia finds parts  of the Milky Way much older than expected

Using data from ESA’s Gaia mission, astronomers have shown that a part of the Milky Way known as the ‘thick disc’ began forming 13 billion years ago, around 2 billion years earlier than expected, and just 0.8 billion years after the Big Bang. Find the latest story "Gaia finds parts of the Milky Way much older than expected" on the ESA portal.

 

2022-02-17 Gaia reveals a new member of the Milky Way family

Latest story on esa.int: "Gaia reveals a new member of the Milky Way family".

 

24/11/2021 Gaia's latest story

A story on sci.esa.int was published today: Gaia reveals that most Milky Way companion galaxies are newcomers to our corner of space.

 

19/11/2021 With sadness we announce the passing away of Dimitri Pourbaix

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing away of Dimitri Pourbaix on 14 November 2021. Since 2006, he was leading the Belgian participation in the Gaia data processing and analysis consortium, was member of the Gaia DPAC executive and mostly dedicated to the management of the Coordination Unit CU4. He will never see the publication of the long-awaited catalogue of binary stars for Gaia DR3, that he has so much contributed to, resolving in particular the orbits of astrometric binaries.

An online condolence register has been made available by the Institut d'Astronomie et d'Astrophysique (Université Libre de Bruxelles) for anyone who wishes to post a condolence message.

 

25/08/2021 Gravitational Waves and the GaiaX Alert stream experiment

Interested in Gravitational Waves? Gaia intends to help out with the follow up of the Gravitational Wave triggers. An experiment with a dedicated GaiaX Alert stream will be started on 1 September 2021 and last four weeks. Find the full news item with all details here.

19/07/2021 Gaia symposium at the EAS meeting

At the EAS meeting in June an extensive preview of Gaia Data Release 3 was given at the Gaia symposium. Slides of the presentations given at this symposium can be found here.

 

08/03/2021 Gaia-TESS collaboration kicks off

TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) is a NASA space mission surveying nearby bright stars in search of extrasolar planets, pushing ahead the fast-growing and exciting study of planets outside our solar system. TESS finds planets that cross our line of sight to their host stars, causing a periodic dimming of the observed light of the system. TESS is issuing a monthly list of newly discovered candidates of transiting exoplanets. However, TESS angular resolution allows light of each target star to be blended with the light from nearby sources. Therefore, follow-up photometric observations are required in order to exclude apparent transits caused by blending with nearby eclipsing binary stars, before further confirmation observations should be performed.

The Gaia mission has been accumulating brightness measurements of billions of stars, with a high angular resolution, producing distinct brightness time series for all sources whose light might be blended with the TESS planet-host candidate. Therefore, Gaia can quickly identify false positive candidates and even confirm true planets in some cases, synergistically combining the capabilities of two of the astronomical space flagships of the USA and Europe – TESS and Gaia.

The analysis of the Gaia relevant data is done at Tel Aviv University by Aviad Panahi, Tsevi Mazeh and Shay Zucker as members of the Gaia DPAC/CU7 team, and the results are reported to the TESS Quick Look Pipeline manager at MIT and TESS Follow-up Observing Program Working Group (TFOPWG) coordinator.

 

03/02/2021 Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture for Amina Helmi

The European Astronomical Society (EAS) announced yesterday that the 2021 Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture has been awarded to Prof. Amina Helmi of the University of Groningen for advancing the understanding of how the Milky Way assembled using dynamical simulations combined with Gaia observations of distances, velocities, ages and chemical abundances of stars. Amina Helmi is a member of the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium and plays a role in the validation of the Gaia data.

 

18/12/2020 Grand Prize 2020 for Gaia

At its last session on 25 September, the Air and Space Academy (AAE) has awarded its Grand Prize 2020 to Anthony Brown, astronomer at the Leiden Observatory, and Vincent Poinsignon, Gaia satellite project manager at Airbus Defence & Space, for their decisive contribution to the success of the scientific space mission of the Gaia satellite.

 

03/12/2020 Gaia Early Data Release 3 online now!

Today at 12:00 CET, the Gaia Collaboration released its Gaia Early Data Release 3 catalogue. If you are interested to follow up on some of the events, which are still ongoing, check out our events page. More information on the release can be found from the Gaia Early Data Release 3 overview page. Some stories highlighting the release have been published here.

 

 

26/11/2020 Announcement of Gaia EDR3 events

Gaia DPAC and ESA Gaia teams are happy to announce the release of Gaia EDR3 on 3 December 2020. Gaia DPAC organises virtual events in many languages and with different formats, ranging from press briefings, scientific presentations to public outreach talks. Have a look at this webpage for the complete overview.

 

18/11/2020 Gaia EDR3 source code

Some source code accompanies the Gaia EDR3 papers. The description of the code and info on where to find the code is available from this page.

 

02/11/2020 International Astronomical Union - Focus meeting 7

At the IAU General Assembly XXXI in Busan, Rep. of Korea, a focus meeting will be held on "Astrometry for 21st century astronomy". The IAU General Assembly will take place from 16 to 27 August 2021. The precise dates for the Focus Meeting 7 will be announced later.

 

29/10/2020 Gaia EDR3 passbands

To allow the scientific community to prepare, the Gaia EDR3 passbands are shared in advance of the Gaia Early Data Release 3, which is expected to go public on 3 December 2020 at 12:00 CET.

 

20/10/2020 Lennart Lindegren and Jackie Faherty awarded prizes for dynamical astronomy

We are pleased to announce that Lennart Lindegren and Jackie Faherty were awarded prizes by the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Division on Dynamical Astronomy (DDA). Lennart was awarded the 2020 Dirk Brouwer Career Award, and Jackie Faherty won the 2020 Vera Rubin Early Career Prize. Find here more information on the prizes and this news.

 

07/09/2020 Gaia EDR3 release date fixed

We have fixed the Gaia EDR3 release date to 3 December 2020 (at 12:00 CET). All data has been produced and the validation is currently underway. The contents of Gaia EDR3 can be found from this page and an overview page will provide further details of the release as it becomes available. Although the pandemic continues to complicate and slow down the progress toward Gaia DR3, the release is expected to take place during the first half of 2022. An overview of the contents of Gaia DR3 can be found from the data release scenario page.

 

19/08/2020 Podcast with Anthony Brown

Find here a podcast interview with our Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium chair: Anthony Brown.

 

07/05/2020 Gaps in Gaia DR2 data

A description and overview of gaps in the data stream that underlies the Gaia DR2 data products can be found here.

 

25/04/2020 Gaia DR2 - second anniversary

Today the Gaia Mission celebrates the second anniversary of Gaia Data Release 2. The Gaia catalogues have been embraced by many scientists across the world. Today, we are proud of the many papers that appeared using our latest release, Gaia DR2. In the past 2 years, almost 3000 refereed papers based on Gaia Data Release 2 have been published. That amounts on average to 4 papers per day. Thank you for using our data with so much enthusiasm! In the meantime, ESA Gaia teams and Gaia DPAC are continuously working towards next data releases. Keep posted with our Gaia newsletter of upcoming releases.

 

Gaia's first release came out on 14 September 2016. On 25 April 2018, the Gaia Collaboration published its second date release.

 

06/03/2020 Gaia's latest science stories

Milky Way's warp caused by Galactic collision, Gaia suggests: Astronomers have pondered for years why our galaxy, the Milky Way, is warped. Data from ESA's star-mapping satellite Gaia suggest the distortion might be caused by an ongoing collision with another, smaller, galaxy, which sends ripples through the galactic disc like a rock thrown into water. Further reading here.

Global Gaia campaign reveals secrets of stellar pair: A 500-day global observation campaign spearheaded more than three years ago by ESA’s galaxy-mapping powerhouse Gaia has provided unprecedented insights into the binary system of stars that caused an unusual brightening of an even more distant star. Further reading here.

 

12/12/2019 Sampling of the Gaia scanning law now available

Today the sampling of the Gaia scanning law over the 22 month time period covered by the Gaia Data Release 2, including the Ecliptic Pole Scanning at the begin of the mission, is made available from the Gaia Auxiliary Data webpage. Note that this is the commanded attitude of the spacecraft, the actual attitude could deviate from it by up to about 30 arcsec. Find more details here.

Below you can see a visualisation of how Gaia scanned the sky during its first 14 months of operations, so for the time period covered by Gaia Data Release1.

 

09/12/2019 Release of the Gaia DR2 primer

The Gaia Helpdesk is happy to announce the release of the Gaia DR2 primer "Everything you wish you had known before you started working with Gaia Data Release 2". This primer collects all information, tips and tricks, pitfalls, caveats, and recommendations relevant to Gaia’s second data release in one place and provides pointers to where more detailed information can be found. It is aimed at astronomers interested in using Gaia DR2 data, including undergraduates and PhD students.

 

 

24/10/2019 Gaia astronomical revolution

The Gaia Data Release 2 catalogues has been used extensively by astronomers across the world. About 3 to 4 papers appear per day based on the Gaia DR2 catalogue, touching many different topics.

 

 

26/09/2019 Update to the Gaia data release scenario

Data processing toward Gaia (E)DR3 continues to progress within the announced schedule. However, to ensure sufficient quality of the quasars and extended objects results, an additional processing run has to be scheduled moving their outcome from Gaia EDR3 to Gaia DR3. Another modification concerns a new data product. A pencil beam survey with (integrated) epoch photometry of all sources (variable and non-variable) will be added to Gaia DR3. The selected field is centred on the Andromeda Galaxy. The cone with 5.5 degree radius contains in total about 1 million sources both in M31 and the Milky Way. In order not to impact the release schedule, only a limited amount of explicit validation will be done on the pencil beam epoch photometry.

 

28/08/2019 Gaia untangles the starry strings of the Milky Way

A new story was published today discussing science findings from Gaia's second data release: "Gaia untangles the starry strings of the Milky Way".

 

22/08/2019  Gaia DR2 known issue

An update to the Gaia DR2 known issues page became available today, discussing systematic effects in the Gaia DR2 parallaxes for very bright stars.

 

17/07/2019 Gaia moves into mission extension

Yesterday a major manoeuvre took place to ensure Gaia would keep out of Earth's shadow for the coming years. This manoeuvre, called the Whitehead Eclipse Avoidance Manoeuvre, also marks the transition of the Gaia mission into its first mission extension. Congratulations to the Gaia team at ESOC for the great achievement yesterday!

 

 

24/06/2019 NWO Spinoza prize for our Gaia DPAC member Amina Helmi

The NWO Spinoza Prize, which is the highest award in Dutch science, was awarded to several researchers working in the Netherlands who belong to the absolute top of science and have done groundbreaking research. Amina Helmi is one of the NWO Spinoza Laureates for her work on the Dynamics, Structure and Formation of the Milky Way at the Kapteyn Institute of the University of Groningen. She is part of Coordination Unit 9 in the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium and participates in the validation of the Gaia data.

 

 

23/05/2019 Lorenzoni Prize 2019 for Gaia DPAC member Eloisa Poggio

The Lorenzoni Prize is an award instituted by the Societa' Astronomica Italiana (SAIt) with the sponsorship of "Officina Stellare" (an Italian manufacturing company in the field of design and construction of telescopes and precision opto-mechanical instrumentation for professional applications for scientific research, aerospace and defense) to reward the best scientific article published by a young researcher in the last 3 years.

This year the Lorenzoni Prize was won by Eloisa Poggio, a young researcher that has published the paper "The Galactic warp revealed by Gaia DR2 kinematics". This paper using Gaia DR2 data reveals that the warp of the Milky Way is a gravitationally induced phenomenon. She was awarded with her prize during the SAIt national meeting that was held in Rome on 16 May 2019.

 

25/04/2019 Geographic contributions to DPAC

Today marks the first birthday of our Gaia Data Release 2, a data release that truly changed our view of the Milky Way. We'd like to celebrate this day with a special thank you to all the people involved in all stages of Gaia's life: from initial proposal, to gathering interest, to design and building and actual operating of the spacecraft. From getting the data down, checking the health of the data, to processing the raw data into a scientifically usable format and then validating to make sure the data is truly that great!

 

In the image released today you can see the geographic contributions to the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium. It shows the countries where the people in DPAC are working. Read further on Gaia DPAC and its contribution to Gaia Data Release 2 in our newest story available here.

 

18/04/2019 Summary of the 53rd ESLAB symposium

From 8-12 April 2019, the 53rd ESLAB symposium took place at ESTEC, The Netherlands. A summary of the results shown at the symposium can be found here.

 

07/04/2019 Rethinking everything we know about star clusters

Recently an overview article appeared on ESA Science & Technology discussing the role of Gaia in our knowledge of star clusters. By studying stellar clusters, Gaia reveals much about the formation and evolution of stars in our surroundings. Read the full article here.

 

22/02/2019 Update to the Gaia DR2 known issues

Today an update to the Gaia DR2 known issues was published discussing Gaia DR2 photometry. We advise you to read through this topic if you use Gaia DR2 photometry.

 

31/01/2019 Update to Gaia DR2 known issues page on radial velocities

Today on ArXiv a paper appeared by Boubert et al.  describing potential contamination of radial velocities in crowded regions. A summary has been added to our Gaia DR2 Known Issues page, along with links to the paper and the accompanying data. The page also describes other topics like astrometry and crossmatches, and complements the Gaia DR2 data release documentation.

 

29/01/2019 Gaia Data Release 3 split into two parts

The Gaia data processing toward Gaia DR3 is progressing at full speed. Although the schedule has stabilised, there are several uncertainties as many elements of the pipelines will see the real data in an operational environment for the first time. Taking the uncertainties into account brought the schedule of the next release toward the end of the earlier announced period of the first half of 2021.

To mitigate the impact on research, the Gaia DR3 will be split into two releases. This way, data that is ready earlier, will be released earlier. The early release, Gaia EDR3, contains astrometry and (integrated) photometry i.e. positions, parallaxes, proper motions, G-band fluxes as well as integrated red- (RP) and blue-band (BP) fluxes, all based on 34 months of data resulting in better accuracy with respect to Gaia DR2. First results for a predefined list of quasars and extended objects may also be included already in the early release. Gaia EDR3 will take place in Q3 of 2020.

Gaia DR3, which is anticipated to take place during the second half of 2021, will supersede Gaia EDR3. This means that the source list and any data published in Gaia EDR3 will not change, but is simply copied to Gaia DR3. Therefore Gaia DR3 is based on the same 34 months of mission data as for Gaia EDR3. The additional products include:
- radial velocities (significantly more due to fainter magnitude limit),
- BP/RP/RVS spectra (new products),
- Solar system data (significantly more sources included),
- variability information (significantly more objects due to longer time interval),
- results for non-single stars (new products), and
- astrophysical parameters (based on spectra).
The final inclusion of the products into Gaia DR3, as well as Gaia EDR3, is subject to successful validation.

 

29/12/2018 Movement of tiny galaxies surrounding the Milky Way

New animation shows the movement of tiny galaxies surrounding the Milky Way as described in a recent story. An interactive version is available here.

19/12/2018 Reward for Gaia and Anthony Brown

Our Gaia DPAC Chair Anthony Brown is recognised by Nature as one of the 10 people who mattered in 2018. This is a special recognition for Anthony, who keeps the Consortium moving forward to get the data from our Gaia mission out to the community. Read the article here

17/12/2018 Video release: the universe of Gaia

Gaia was launched 19 December 2013 and has been scanning the sky ever since. Our second data release, published this April, provided scientists with an extraordinary data set to investigate the formation and evolution history of our Milky Way. Hundreds of scientific studies were performed since, with new papers coming out almost every day.

Video credits: ESA/CNES/Arianespace; ESA/Gaia/DPAC; Gaia Sky / S. Jordan / T. Sagristà; Kppelman, Villalobos and Helmi; Marchetti et al. 2018; NASA/ESA/Hubble; ESO, M. Kornmesser, L. Calçada

14/11/2018 Gaia mission extension approved

Today the ESA Science Programme Committee (SPC) confirmed the Gaia mission extension for mid-2019 to end of 2020 and has given an indicative extension for up to end of 2022. More information can be found here.

02/10/2018: Gaia spots stars flying between galaxies

A team of astronomers using Gaia Data Release 2 looked for high-velocity stars being kicked out of the Milky Way were surprised to find stars instead sprinting inwards – perhaps from another galaxy. Read the story here.

19/09/2018 Gaia hints at our Galaxy's turbulent life

Research using our Gaia DR2 data has shown our Milky Way galaxy is still enduring the effects of a near collision that set millions of stars moving like ripples on a pond. Read the story here.

27/08/2018 Gaia DR2 Known Issues

A new page dedicated to discuss some known issues with the Gaia DR2 data is available here. These cover issues that are important for the users to be aware of but that were only discovered after the release of the data and the documentation. Keep an eye out for the page as newly found issues will be published there when needed.

22/08/2018 Infant exoplanet weighed by Hipparcos and Gaia

An article published in Nature Astronomy discusses the use of Gaia Data Release 2 in combination with Hipparcos data to estimate the mass of the young exoplanet Beta Pictoris b through the astrometric motion of its host star. Read more here.

17/08/2018 A&A special edition on Gaia Data Release 2 out

The A&A special edition on Gaia Data Release 2 is now out and can be found here. Gaia DR2 papers are also summarised on this website with added links to access the papers.

25/04/2018 Gaia DR2 release day

Today we released our our second batch of data. Many thanks to all the work of the people involved in Gaia!

Information on the papers describing the data processing and the science potential of Gaia DR2 can be found here. Now there are some in-depth stories on the data release are available, as well as a guide to scientists to help you get up to speed with using Gaia DR2.

Many images and stories were released today: Gaia creates richest map of our Galaxy and beyond, Gaia's sky in colour, Gaia's Hertzsprung-Russel diagram, Cosmic scales covered by Gaia's second data release, Large Magellanic Cloud, Small Magellanic Cloud, Gaia's view of more than 14000 asteroids, Gaia's globular clusters and dwarf galaxies, Gaia's globular clusters and dwarf galaxies - with orbits, Gaia's new map of star density, the Galactic sensus takes shape, Rotation of the Large Magellanic Cloud. Many more are expected from the science with Gaia data release 2.

Make sure to watch the 360 degrees Gaia first sky map in colour with your smartphone and Google cardboard!

20/04/2018 Gaia DR2 media kit available now

The media kit for our second Gaia data release is now available. Today also two stories were published on the results from Gaia data release 1. Read about Gaia's surprising discoveries: from the Sun's neighbourhood to the distant universe and Gaia's surprising discoveries: scrutinising the Milky Way.

14/04/2014 Gaia tops 100 billion star transits

Today the Gaia main database indicated that we topped 100 billion star transits through the focal plane. With celebrate this event with a dedicated image of the week. An overview of the total amount of observations taken is available on this page.

05/04/2018 Precise object counts for Gaia Data Release 2

Ever wondered how many sources we will release exactly in Gaia DR2? No need to keep guessing, exact object counts were just released here. More information can also be found in the news item by ESA Science & Technology.

03/04/2018 The cat in Orion...

What do you seen when looking at this week's Space Science Image of the Week? A cat, a fox or even a shark?

21/03/2018 Gaia status update

Last month, ESA's Gaia satellite experienced a technical anomaly followed by a 'safe mode' event. After thorough examination, the spacecraft was successfully recovered and resumed normal scientific operations, while the mission team keeps investigating the exact cause of the anomaly. More information can be found here.

16/03/2018 Latest releases of GOG and GUMS

Gaia Object Generator 18 is now available also in HDF5 through this web page. Also a new version of the Gaia Universe Model Snapshot (GUMS-18) is now available from OBSPM. More information on Gaia tools can be found here.

16/03/2018 Release of the draft Gaia DR2 data model and passbands

To help scientists prepare for our second data release, a draft of the Gaia DR2 data model is provided for download along with some updates on the upcoming release. Available for download as well are our Gaia DR2 passbands. These are featured in our image of the week.

29/11/2017 Visualisation of a selection of asteroids detected by Gaia

Coordination Unit 4 of the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium is responsible for the processing of non-single stars, Solar System objects and extended objects. Gaia Data Release 2 will contain epoch astrometry for more than 13,000 known asteroids. The visualisation of these asteroids as detected by Gaia has just been published by ESA Science & Technology.

17/11/2017 How do you find a star cluster?

On 15 November a story was published on the ESA Science & Technology website called "How do you find a star cluster? Easy, simply count the stars". A story on the discovery of the first Gaia cluster: Gaia 1.

02/10/2017 Extra stars to help out the Triton occultation campaign

In order to facilitate earlier conducted Triton campaigns from September, we provide preliminary astrometry for an additional 334 stars available for download through the links below:

VOT format

CSV format

When using these data, please follow the acknowledgment and citation guidelines as given here.

Good luck with the observations!

30/09/2017 Gaia mission helps with Triton occultation observations

On Thursday 5 October an important and rare astronomical event will take place: Triton will be occulting a star (called UCAC4 410-143659 or GaiaDR2 2610107907030969600). This stellar occultation will be visible from Europe across the Atlantic to the USA. A predicted occultation path has been computed using the preliminary Gaia DR2 position and proper motion for this star.

The Triton position can, however, still be improved. In order to maximise the scientific output of the occultation event, we have decided to release astrometry for 119 stars in the field surrounding Triton at this moment. The most suitable stars between magnitudes 12 and 17 have been chosen for astrometric calibration purposes. Please note that full validation of the data is not yet done and therefore some caution is required when interpreting the results. Nevertheless, we believe the data will allow improvement of the occultation prediction.

Scientists using these data to improve Triton astrometry are encouraged to make their deduced positions public so that science return can be maximised for all groups observing the event. Please keep us informed of your efforts and results in this topic.

The 119 stars are available for download through the links below:

VOT format

CSV format

When using these data, please follow the acknowledgment and citation guidelines as given here.

Good luck with the observations!

14/09/2017 First birthday of Gaia Data Release 1

Exactly one year ago, we released our first data. Since the release, more than 170 refereed science papers used the Gaia DR1 data so far. If you are interested to check out any publications on Gaia, please have a look here.

31/08/2017 Press releases on close stellar encounters

Today several videos were released by ESA to accompany the press release "Close encounters of the stellar kind". Our image of the week item on this topic can be found here. Enjoy!

30/08/2017 Interview with Lennart Lindegren kicking off the Gaia Science Meeting in Lund.

Today a three-day meeting called "The science of Gaia and future challenges" kicks off in Lund, Sweden. Home of the Lund Observatory, an institute involved in the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC). The meeting also coincides with the retirement of Lennart Lindegren, one of Gaia's important faces. Here is in interview with him to start off this meeting with some in-depth knowledge on Gaia's history and Lennart's role in all of this. Thank you, Lennart, for your huge contribution to the Gaia mission and we are happy you will keep on working with us!

30/06/2017 Asteroid Day

On Asteroid Day we would like to draw your attention to the Gaia Follow-Up Network for Solar System Objects (FUN-SSO). About 600 potential discoveries of Solar System Objects have been reported up till now. Anyone at the right place on Earth at the right time with the right size of telescope can help confirm these potential discoveries. A list of active alerts can be found here.

If you subscribe to the network, you can enter your location and telescope details. There is an active call at the moment for following-up on a candidate! Grab your chance and be the first to confirm!

23/06/2017 Two Arthur C. Clarke Awards for Gaia teams

We are proud to announce that our Gaia teams won two Arthur C. Clarke awards, also known as Arthurs. The Industry/Project Team award went to Airbus Defence and Space "For the successful design and manufacture of the Gaia spacecraft and telescope which for the last 3 years has been accurately measuring the location and motion of the stars”.

The second award was given to the UK Gaia Science Team. They won the Space Achievement - Academic Study/Research award "For its role in processing and analysing data from the Gaia star mapping mission as its contribution to the European Data Processing and Analysis Consortium”.

This latter award was presented by UK/ESA Astronaut Tim Peake to Gerry Gilmore (UK Gaia PI), Martin Barstow and Simon Hodgkin, who received it on behalf of the wider UK team. The award is made of glass, and is based on the monolith in Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, with the same proportions (1:4:9).

09/06/2017 Future of the Orion constellation

A new video on the future of the Orion constellation was just released by ESA Science & Technology. It shows the movement of the stars in the sky for the coming 450,000 years, based on TGAS data. This a subset of Gaia DR1 consisting of those stars in the Hipparcos and Tycho-2 Catalogues for which a full 5-parameter astrometric solution is available.

In April another video was published showing the movement of the stars in the entire sky.