14/03/2018 Opening for a research fellowship in Arcetri

If you are interested to support activities for the Gaia mission in Arcetri, have a look at this Research Fellowship position. Deadline for application is 28th of March. Contact person is Elena Pancino.

12/03/2018 Registration opened for the Gaia DR2 Exploration Lab

Following the Gaia second data release on 25 April 2018, an interactive gathering is planned to allow scientists to come together and explore the Gaia data. This Gaia Data Release 2 Exploration Lab is planned in the last week of June (25 - 29 June), two months after the release, and will take place at the European Space Astronomy Centre near Madrid, Spain.

This exploration lab is focusing particularly on getting hands-on experience with the data, forming groups to explore scientific subjects together and brainstorming uses of the data which might lead to drafts of scientific papers.

Registration is now open. Deadline for registration is 13 April 2018.

26/02/2018 Downtime expected on Wednesday 28 February

On Wednesday 28th of February between 09:00 and 13:00 a downtime of several DPAC services has been announced in order to apply some security patches. Among the services that might be affected are the Gaia Cosmos page, Gaia Jira, Gaia Wiki, login access to the Gaia Archive and the Gaia Helpdesk.

26/02/2018 Vacancy: Post-doc/engineer position at Paris Observatory

The CU9 validation team at Paris Observatory is looking for a post-doc/engineer. The selected candidate will work in Meudon on the data management, scientific analysis and software development for the processing of astronomical data for the validation of the Catalogues. Further information and details about how to apply can be found here.

09/02/2018 Opening for a computer scientist or astrophysicist at ZAH in Heidelberg, Germany

The Gaia group in Heidelberg seeks a computer scientist or an astrophysicist for a position at the Zentrum für Astronomie der Universität Heidelberg (ZAH), Germany. Gaia is a space observatory of the European Space Agency (ESA) which compiles a 3D space catalogue of more than one billion stars, i.e. roughly 1% of the stars in our Milky Way. The ZAH operates a partner data center hosting the first two Gaia data releases.

The successful applicant will maintain and expand the services offered by the Heidelberg Gaia data center; this, in particular, comprises the database service based on the ARI/CDS TAP library implementing the Virtual Observatory Table Access Protocol. Service developments should support the scientific exploitability of the Gaia results. This will in particular include coding in several programming and scripting languages (C, java, python, \dots) as well as the design and extension of database systems. The job will include intensive cooperation with local and international partners.

The applicant should have
- at least a Master's degree or equivalent in either physics, astrophysics, or computer science,
- solid skills in software development and knowledge about database systems,
- preferably solid knowledge of at least one field of astronomy,
- proficiency in English and preferably German.

The position is for a fixed term until the end of 2020. Please send your applications to Stefan Jordan,  in one pdf file.  Please include (links to) samples of code you have written. For further information, send mail to the address above or call +49 (0)6221 54 1842. The application deadline is March 15, 2018.

More information on this job position can be found here.


25/01/2018 Gaia Data Release 2 Update

ESA and the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium are happy to announce the date and contents of Gaia DR2. In three months time, on 25 April 2018, more than a billion parallaxes, proper motions and photometric fluxes will be made public. Accompanied with millions of radial velocities and astrophysical parameters, hundreds of thousands of variable star light curves and epoch astrometry of more than thirteen thousand asteroids, Gaia DR2 will be a major occasion for astronomers.

Save the date!

08/12/2017 Opening for Gaia software developer at ARI in Heidelberg, Germany

The Astronomisches Rechen-Institut at Heidelberg University is opening a 3-years position for a software developer to work in the Gaia First Look group.

The Gaia First Look is the task to check on a daily basis, whether Gaia reaches the targeted level of precision and whether any problems have occurred on board Gaia. The selected person will participate in the advancements and maintenance of the Gaia First Look software and assist the First Look Scientists in investigating and interpreting potential problems and previously unperceived, subtle effects which could affect all data and potentially result in a loss or damage of many months of data if not detected in a timely manner.

More information on this vacancy can be found here.

08/12/2017 Release of a German Gaia stamp

Yesterday, on 7 December 2017 at 11:00 a German "Gaia-satellit" stamp was released along with a stamp on gravitational waves. Enjoy the fun sending Gaia stamps from Germany! Read more on the event and the special Gaia postcards here.

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.

27/11/2017 Stellar motions in nearby galaxy hint at underlying dark matter

Read more on the newest story by ESA Science & Technology here.

22/11/2017 Gaia extension

The Science Programme Committee (SPC) has decided to extend the Gaia operations beyond the nominal 5 years until the end of 2020. Following the standard ESA science mission extension procedure this extension should be confirmed next year and a proposal for 2021-22 will be submitted for SPC approval.

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.

13/10/2017 Opening of the Gaia Community Forum

Today we opened up our Gaia Community Forum. A place for users to discuss the Gaia mission and Gaia data. Feel free to browse around and start a discussion.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.



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