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!

15/09/2017 Expected downtime of the Gaia Archive and some Gaia DPAC services

Due to network maintenance, some Gaia DPAC services like Jira, SVN, DPAC Wiki and GOST and the Gaia Archive will be down from about 18:00 CEST today until at least Saturday evening 16 September 20:00 CEST. Throughout Sunday 17 September there is still a possibility for a downtime until all systems are brought back up.

11/09/2017 Programme for EWASS 2018 is now online

The programme for EWASS 2018 in Liverpool is now online. There will be a session dedicated to Gaia: "Gaia: The billion-star galaxy census: at the threshold of Gaia data release 2".

08/09/2017 Young Astronomer School on the Scientific Exploitation of the Gaia Data

The Doctoral School of Astronomy and Astrophysics of Paris and the Observatoire de Paris are organizing an international school for PhD and post-doctoral students on the scientific exploitation of the Gaia data and the study of the stellar populations of our Galaxy. It will be held in Paris (FIAP, Paris 14ème) from 26 February to 2 March 2018.

The school will propose lectures given by internationally recognized experts in the study of the formation and evolution of the Milky Way and will be accompanied by hands-on sessions. The school will allow the participants to master the knowledge and tools allowing them to manipulate and to explore the Gaia catalog and to derive properties necessary for the analysis of stellar populations, such as the age of stars, their orbits in the Galaxy, etc.

The application deadline is November 30, 2017, but the attendance is limited to 40-50 students and candidates are therefore strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible. More information is available here.

08/09/2017 Vacancy: ESA Research Fellowships in Space Science

ESA has announced an opportunity for post-doctoral research fellowships linked to its science missions, including Gaia. Applications can be submitted until 2 October 2017. More details, including the detailed vacancies, can be found here. Addtional information is provided on the Research Fellowship website.

04/09/2017 Gaia Science Meeting in Lund

Last week a meeting "The science of Gaia and future challenges" took place in Lund, Sweden. About 100 people took part in this meeting that also marked the retirement of Lennart Lindegren. As of today, the slides of the presentations are available for download here.

04/09/2017 Gaia Space Science Image of the Week

Today the Space Science image of the week features a Gaia sky mapper image taken on 7 February 2017. The image features part of the Sagittarius I Window (Sgr-I), located close to the Galactic Centre, and might contain some 2.8 million stars.

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!

24/08/2017 Short downtime expected of the Gaia Parameter Database

On Friday 25 August 2017 between 11.00 and 11.15 CEST a short downtime is to be expected of the Gaia parameter database to allow for an update to the underlying system. Our apologies for the inconvenience.

16/08/2017 Interview with Gaia Science Operations Manager: Uwe Lammers

Need some insight into Gaia Science Operations and the challenges that come with a satellite like Gaia? Have a look at this interview with Uwe Lammers.

16/08/2017 Many DPAC services are down

Today from 09:00 until about 13:00, a downtime is expected of many Cosmos services to allow for some security updates to take place. Services like Jira, the DPAC Wiki and the Gaia helpdesk can be unavailable in this time slot, as well as many other DPAC services. Our apologies for the inconvenience.

04/08/2017 Open until the position is filled: postdoc at the Dr. Remeis-Sternwarte Bamberg

You are still invited to send in your applications for the post-doctoral position in stellar/Galactic astrophysics at the Dr. Remeis-Sternwarte Bamberg, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (Germany). More information on this vacancy can be found here.

10/07/2017 Gaia wishes New Horizons success!

Gaia wishes the New Horizons team lots of success in the observation of the stellar occultation by MU69 today and on 17 July. More information on the occultation campaigns can be found here.

06/07/2017 Data Release Scenario Update

While Gaia DR2 is being processed, DPAC has looked into releases thereafter. By doing operational processing toward Gaia DR2, the knowledge of execution times can now be much better estimated. The major lesson learned is that for making a scientifically significant step forward, a reasonable time between releases is 2 rather than 1 year. A new release scenario for the nominal mission phase has been elaborated containing all the earlier planned elements, with releases in April 2018 (Gaia DR2), mid to end 2020 (Gaia DR3) and end 2022 (Gaia DR4). The anticipated contents can be found from the updated data release page.

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!

26/06/2017 European Week of Astronomy and Space Science

Today the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science (EWASS 2017) took off with a news item on hypervelocity stars caught by Gaia. Join one of the plenty presentations sharing exciting Gaia science and certainly do not forget the plenary by Gaia DPAC chair Anthony Brown tomorrow at 11:30.

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).

20/06/2017 Celebrating 20 years of astrometric data from space

Almost 300 astronomers and astrophysicists from all over the world gathered in Venice on 13-16 May 1997 at the Hipparcos Venice 97 Symposium, organised by the European Space Agency. This symposium marked the public release of the Hipparcos and Tycho Catalogues, which took place in June 1997, twenty years ago.

The parallaxes and proper motions of the 117,955 stars contained in the Hipparcos Catalogue have meanwhile generated more than 2,400 refereed articles. Hipparcos laid the foundation for the Gaia mission and was the first space mission dedicated to measure the positions of stars. While Hipparcos gave access to data on 117,995 stars, Gaia is to deliver astrometry for more than 1 billion objects in April 2018.

20/06/2017 Vacancy for a postdoctoral position in stellar/Galactic astrophysics at Dr. Remeis-Sternwarte Bamberg (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

Applications are invited to work on the research project "Origin of massive high-velocity stars in the halo", which includes the enigmatic hyper-velocity stars (HVS). The goal is to understand the origin and nature of massive runaway and HVSs. Gaia astrometry will be the project's backbone and shall be utilised, e.g., to identify the origin of the stars, clarify their ejection mechanisms, and to constrain Galactic mass models. A complete sample of high-velocity stars shall be established to test population synthesis models.

Applicants should have a sound knowledge of stellar and Galactic astrophysics. Expertise in Gaia data handling and/or modeling of the Galactic structure would be highly beneficial. Familiarity with population synthesis modeling would be an asset.

The position is funded for three years and the appointment shall start on October 1st, 2017 or later. Applicants should hold a PhD in astrophysics or be close to finishing their thesis. To apply, please prepare a cover letter, a curriculum vitae (including statements on education and research experience) and provide the names of three contact persons who might be asked for letters of reference. Please send your application by July 31st, 2017 (late applications will be considered until the position is filled) as a single PDF file to Prof. Dr. Ulrich Heber or Dr. Andreas Irrgang.

13/06/2017 Expected downtime of the Gaia Archive

On 14 June 2017 from 11:00 to 12:00 CEST a downtime of the Gaia Archive is expected. Our apologies for the inconvenience.

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.

09/06/2017 Expected downtime of the Gaia Archive

On Monday 12 June 2017 from 15:00 to about 16:00 CEST the Gaia Archive is expected to be down for maintenance.

30/05/2017 Vacancy for a postdoctoral fellowship "Physical properties of evolved open clusters in the Gaia era" at Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Bordeaux

The Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Bordeaux invites applications for a postdoctoral position related to the scientific exploration of Gaia Data Release 2 to be published in April 2018. The aim of the project "Physical properties of evolved open clusters in the Gaia era" is to determine the physical properties of nearby old open clusters using the Gaia astrometry combined with photometric and spectroscopic data available from Gaia and from the ground. More information on this position and on the application process can be found here.

Deadline for this application is 15 September 2017. Start date for this position is January 2018.

23/05/2017 Three stellar positions released to support unique occultation events

Just now we released the astrometry for three stars to support the observations of unique occultation events. On 22 June and 23 July 2017 relatively brights stars will be occulted by the largest known centaur Chariklo. Then on 5 October 2017 an occultation by Neptune's largest satellite, Triton, can be observed. The preliminary Gaia DR2 data for the three stars and more information about these events can be found here.

22/05/2017 Vacancy for a postdoctoral position "Support activities for the Gaia space mission" at Osservatorio Astronomico di Arcetri

The INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Arcetri invites applications for a post-doc position entitled "Support activities for the Gaia space mission", dedicated to the preparation of the grid of spectrophotometric standard stars for the calibration of Gaia and to the science validation activities in crowded stellar fields and globular clusters for GDR2. The reference person is Elena Pancino.

Deadline for this application is 12 June 2017.

11/05/2017 Downtime expected of Cosmos infrastructure from 13 May until 14 May.

From 09:00 on Saturday 13 May until the end of Sunday 14 May major network maintenance will be done at ESTEC leading to a downtime of the Gaia Cosmos webpage and all associated services such as Livelink. Emails sent to Cosmos mailinglists during this downtime will be delivered with a delay.

10/05/2017 Vacancy for a postdoctoral position on Gaia data processing and scientific exploitation

The High-Energy Astrophysics Group and the Extragalactic Astrophysics and Space Observations team which are part of the STAR institute and of the Department of Astrophysics, Geophysics and Oceanography of the University of Liège (Belgium) are offering a common postdoctoral position to participate in Data Processing and Analysis Consortium activities in the framework of Gaia. The position is funded by a PRODEX programme.

The team in Liège is mainly involved in the CU6 spectroscopic channel and in the CU4 Non-Single Star channel. They are working on radial velocity measurements, on the detection of binaries and of composite spectra, and on the search for the corresponding orbital solutions. Also they are involved in the detection, recognition and further treatment of quasars and quasar candidates. Several developments are still necessary to participate in subsequent releases and the future postdoc will actively participate in these activities, as well as in the internal validation of the data to be released.

More information on this vacancy can be found here.

The deadline for applications is 20 May 2017 with a preferred starting date of 1 June 2017.

28/04/2017 International Astronomical Union Symposium on Astrometry and Astrophysics in the Gaia Sky

Today is the last day of the IAU Symposium on Astrometry and Astrophysics in the Gaia Sky. A week-long symposium that showed the diversity of the science return from Gaia Data Release 1. From fundamental physics to Galactic archaeology and Solar system science, a very broad range of presentations was given discussing the usage of Gaia data in their research performed. By now a lot of the presentations can be found online. Thank you for joining us at this very nice conference in honour of François Mignard.

04/04/2017 Cancelled: expected downtime of Cosmos infrastructure from 28 April until 30 April.

The announced downtime of the Cosmos infrastructure from 19:30 on Friday 28 April until Sunday 30 April has been cancelled. There are no problems to be expected with the usage of Cosmos, Livelink or the cosmos mail server.

20/04/2017 Gaia celebrates its 1000th day in routine phase

Today Gaia celebrates its 1000th day in routine phase. After the launch on 19 December 2013 and the six-month long in-orbit commissioning period, the routine scientific operations phase started on 25 July 2014.

Since then, Gaia gathered more than 35 TB of data and observed close to 70 billion transits. Thanks to all Gaia DPAC and ESA Gaia people for their enthusiasm and dedication to Gaia! Find more mission numbers here.

12/04/2017 Story on the motion of two million stars

Ever wondered what the universe would look like in 5 million years? The proper motions of the TGAS stars were propagated into the future, leading to a mesmerising video on the motion of two million stars.

04/04/2017 Downtime expected of Cosmos infrastructure from 28 April until 30 April.

From 19:30 on Friday 28 April until Sunday 30 April major network maintenance will be done at ESTEC leading to a downtime of the Gaia Cosmos webpage and all associated services such as Livelink. Emails sent to Cosmos mailinglists during this downtime will be delivered with a delay.

04/04/2017 Downtime expected of Cosmos infrastructure on 10 April from 08:00 to 12:00 CEST

A downtime of the Cosmos portal is expected on 10 April from 08:00 to 12:00 CEST due to an update to the Cosmos infrastructure. Our apologies for the inconvenience.

04/04/2017 Videos of Gaia Data Release 1 workshop online now

For all Gaia enthousiasts that missed our Gaia Data Release 1 workshop and would like to see the presentations on video, these were finally processed as well and are now available here.

10/03/2017 Vacancy: Software Developer at Institute of Astronomy Cambridge

The Institute of Astronomy (Cambridge) invites applications for the position of Software Developer. The post-holder will work as part of the local DPCI (Cambridge Data Processing Centre) team of scientists / developers on data processing software for the ground segment of the mission, implementing data processing infrastructure components and algorithms for the calibration and removal of instrumental signatures from the scientific data generated by the satellite.

Further details and requirements are specified in the job description. The deadline for applications is 31 March 2017.

06/03/2017 Vacancy for a DPAC Operations Scientist

There is an opening for a DPAC Operations Scientist at ESAC, Spain. The role of the DPAC operations scientist will be to lead the effort of assessing the scientific characteristics, quality and coherence of the data products at all processing steps, with the aim to ensure scientific quality control across the DPAC CU boundaries.

In this position a lot of interaction with several groups within DPAC and with the Project and Archive Scientists is expected. More information can be found here.

22/02/2017 ESA images, videos and data available through Open Access

On 20 February 2017 ESA adopted an Open Access policy for content such as still images, videos and selected sets of data. A news article by ESA describes the Open Access policy as adopted by ESA. More information on sets of information currently available can be found here.

20/02/2017 Vacancy for post-doc/engineer position at Paris Observatory

The CU6 DPAC team at Paris Observatory is looking for a post-doc/engineer. The selected candidate will work in Meudon on the software development (conception, optimisation) of the spectroscopic data analysis modules, and on the analysis of the results. Further information and details on how to apply can be found here.

03/02/2017 Gaia DR2 Schedule

The schedule leading up to Gaia DR2 (Data Release 2) has recently been revisited by the DPAC project office, together with ESA. Some necessary changes in the data processing, together with an improved data processing flow, have led to a revised schedule which is believed to be firm as it is based on true performance testing and availability analysis of hardware and people. The new release date will be April 2018. Further details are available here.

25/01/2017 Vacancy: Post-doctoral fellowship at IMCCE/Paris Observatory

A postdoc position "Gaia astrometry and physical properties of asteroids" is available at the IMCCE/Paris Observatory related to the scientific exploitation and validation of Gaia data on asteroids. This fellowship is intended for a period of 18 months, with a possible extension depending on funding and performance. The application deadline is 1 March 2017 with a start date before 1 June 2017. The position will remain open until fulfilled. More information can be found here.

24/01/2017 Gaia’s contribution to asteroid science

Just now ESA Science&Technology published an article on the contribution Gaia has on asteroid science. Tests of the software to detect asteroids in the Gaia data were successful. A Gaia Follow-Up Network for Solar System Objects is in place in case a suspected asteroid is spotted. More information on the Solar System Alerts can be found here.

19/12/2016 Happy 3rd birthday to Gaia!

Since the launch of Gaia on 19 December 2013 Gaia performed an impressive number of astrometric, photometric and spectroscopic measurements. More than 60 billion times an object moved through the Gaia focal plane. The total amount of science data collected since launch can now be viewed through a new information page on mission status numbers.

18/11/2016 Gaia16aye is getting brighter

The spectacular binary microlensing event, Gaia16aye, is getting brighter just as predicted in the Image of the Week item of 27 October. The peak of the brightening is expected on 21 or 22 November and should reach about 11 magnitude in l-band. We are very lucky as the next observation of this target by Gaia happens to be right in time for this brightening and will happen on 21 November (as predicted using GOST).

An extensive follow-up campaign is conducted, according to Lukasz Wyrzykowski. You can contact him if you would like to be involved or if you want to share some data with him on this expected brightening.  The current model, including astrometric prediction, is available here.

18/11/2016 Gaia 'Ask Me Anything' on Gaia Operations

On 21 November 16:00 CET, ESOC will conduct a live 'Ask Me Anything' text chat via Reddit, focusing on Gaia operations. You can find more information on how to participate through this link. This AMA session will highlight day-to-day operations performed for Gaia. If you ever wanted to know more about how well the spacecraft is performing, how commands are sent up to the satellite or what the orbit of Gaia looks like, this is the moment to ask. Our operations team will be happy to answer your questions.

15/11/2016 Presentations of Gaia 2016 Data Release #1 Workshop are now available

The slides of the presentations and some tutorials given at the Gaia 2016 Data Release #1 Workshop on 2 - 4 November 2016 are now available here. Videos will be posted soon but are currently still being edited. Some pictures of the event have been put online as well.

01/11/2016 Livestream of Gaia 2016 Data Release #1 Workshop

The Gaia 2016 Data Release #1 Workshop will take place on 2 - 4 November 2016 at ESAC in Spain. You will be able to follow most of the morning sessions through the ESA livestream. More information on the programme of the sessions can be found here.

14/09/2016 Watch Replay of Gaia First Data Release Media Briefing

Livestreaming of the media briefing on the first data release from ESA’s Gaia mission started on 14 September at 09:30 GMT (11:30 CEST). The media briefing provided examples of the performance of the satellite and its science data, and highlighted the research that can be done with this first data release. Watch the replay of the briefing here.

30/08/2016 Gaia Data Release 1 sneak preview

A new webpage summarises the contents of Gaia Data Release 1 (DR1), DR1 statistical information, uncertainty statistics, as well as its limitations. The page also provides the URL of the Gaia Archive, which will serve simulated data from 1 September onwards. The Gaia Archive with DR1 data will be available as of 14 September 2016, 12:30 CEST.

24/08/2016 A Very Human Venture: Personal Perspectives on Gaia's Data Processing and Analysis Consortium

Since its launch in December 2013 Gaia has been sweeping the skies mapping around one billion stars. The data collected will allow astronomers to probe the very nature of the astronomical objects observed by the spacecraft. But before the data can be useful to the scientific community they must pass through a complex and robust processing pipeline. This is the story of how that pipeline was created and how it has struggled and thrived by virtue of being a truly human endeavour. To read the whole piece, click here.

16/08/2016 Gaia's second anniversary marked by successes and challenges

Operating in the depths of space, far beyond the Moon's orbit, ESA's Gaia spacecraft has now completed two years of a planned five-year survey of the sky. Despite a series of unexpected technical challenges, the mission is on track to complete the most detailed and complex mapping of the heavens ever undertaken. The first mission data will be released on 14 September 2016. Read the whole story here.




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