Gaia Newsletter #8

 

With this newsletter we provide you with some updates on Gaia data release preparations, and draw your attention to a small update to the Gaia DR2 known issues page.

 

News from Gaia DPAC

The Gaia DPAC is preparing for the upcoming data releases: EDR3 and DR3. Following the creation of the source list and input data for the current processing cycle and the upgrades of various pipelines, the astrometric and photometric data processing are currently ongoing. The results thereof will be part of Gaia EDR3. The data processing pipelines for Gaia DR3 are undergoing extensive validation and will start their operations toward the end of this year. In parallel the Gaia Archive is being prepared to handle a larger volume of data as well as the new types of data expected for Gaia DR3.

Two developments should be noted. The planned publication of results on QSOs and Galaxies will be shifted from EDR3 to Gaia DR3. Gaia DR3 will be enriched with an additional data set consisting of the photometric time series for *all* sources located in a 5.5 degree radius field centred on the Andromeda galaxy. This data set, called the “Gaia Andromeda Photometric Survey” or GAPS, will serve as a taster for the publication of the photometric time series for all Gaia sources planned for Gaia DR4.

 

Update to the Gaia DR2 known issues page on systematic effects in Gaia DR2 parallaxes for very bright stars

Recently the Gaia DR2 known issues page was updated with a new topic on astrometry discussing the systematic effects in Gaia DR2 parallaxes for very bright stars. We draw your attention to the fact that in addition to larger uncertainties (as described in the topic "Astrometry: Considerations for the use of DR2 astrometry"), care should be taken when using the parallaxes of very bright (i.e. G < 5) stars, as they may have additional systematic errors due to calibration issues. A description of this topic can be found in this research note.

 

Did you know…

  • Gaia gathered by now more than 71,000 GB of science data?
  • there is a dedicated Python tutorial for Jupyter Notebook available from the help section of the Gaia Archive
  • the release notes of the Gaia Archive give you information on the updates in the documentation, Gaia data, and Gaia Archive functionalities.
  • Gaia data is served through the Gaia Archive and through four partner data centres. More information on the partner data centres can be found here.

 

ESA Research Fellowships in Space Science - deadline for applications is 1 October

ESA has announced an opportunity for post-doctoral research fellowships linked to its science missions, including Gaia. Deadline to submit applications is 1 October 2019. More details can be found on the ESA Faculty Page and on the ESA Careers webpage.

 

ESA Voyage 2050 workshop - registration closes on 30 September, 12:00 CET

Registration is open for the ESA Voyage 2050 workshop to be held at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Calle Serrano 117, Madrid, Spain, from Tuesday 29 October to Thursday 31 October, 2019.

The focus of this workshop will be presentations and discussions related to the White Paper proposals that have been submitted by the broad scientific community for Voyage 2050, the next planning cycle of the ESA Science Programme. The White Papers are available for download.

Registration: to register your interest in attending the workshop, please complete the online registration form.

 

Paper publication statistics

While there were about 800 Gaia papers published in 2018, we are now already approaching 1000 published Gaia papers in 2019. This corresponds to about 3,5 paper per day. An overview of our selection of Gaia publications in peer-reviewed journals can be found here. To determine the amount of papers appearing using Gaia data, we make use of the citations given to the Gaia data release papers. You can help us find your paper when it makes use of Gaia data by following our credit and citation guidelines.

 

Gaia’s latest stories

Stories that appeared on the Gaia Scientific Community Home:

ESA press releases on Gaia science:

 

We are happy to see you are following our news on the Gaia mission and that you are using the Gaia data with great enthusiasm. Feel free to point interested people to the instructions on how to subscribe to the Gaia Newsletter. In case of any questions related to the Gaia mission or the Gaia data, the Gaia Helpdesk is there to help.

Gaia newsletter #7

 

Focus of this newsletter goes to the biggest operation for Gaia since launch, the Whitehead Eclipse Avoidance Manoeuvre, which marks the transition into the first mission extension for Gaia. Another highlight is the availability of RUWE data in the Gaia Archive. At last we would like to draw your attention to our request on PhD theses info for the Gaia mission.

 

RUWE data available in the Gaia Archive

The Gaia Archive now includes the RUWE data. A recipe was already provided through the Gaia DR2 known issues page, and some of the Gaia partner data centres already served the RUWE data along with the Gaia data. A decision was made in the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium to make an official release of the RUWE data along with the Gaia DR2 data, to ensure consistency of the RUWE data provided through ESA/Gaia/DPAC. The difference between the RUWE data as provided now through the Gaia Archive (and soon through the Gaia Partner Data Centres) and the RUWE data as was provided initially through for example the ARI partner data centre is reasonably small.

Currently the RUWE data can be found in a seperate table, but the RUWE data is expected to be provided in the gaia_source table from EDR3 onwards.

 

Gaia DR2 known issues: ASTROMETRY - Considerations for the use of DR2 astrometry

This topic was updated to reflect the availability of the RUWE data in the Gaia Archive. Also references can be found to the Data Release Documentation section discussing RUWE.

 

Send us your Gaia related Phd theses info

We would like to obtain an almost complete overview of PhD theses performed on Gaia related topics, theses either using Gaia data or theses discussing developments for the data processing of Gaia. This is valuable information for us to show the success of the mission in this area, and can help when we argue for mission extensions and continued funding of the Gaia mission. On this webpage more information can be found on how to share the information.

Please share with us also any Hipparcos related PhD theses. Information on how to send information on Hipparcos related PhD theses can be found on this webpage.

 

Whitehead Eclipse Avoidance Manoeuvre

On 16 July 2019 Gaia's biggest operation since launch was successfully performed, moving the Gaia mission from its nominal phase into its first mission extension.  Without any measures taken to change its orbit, the Gaia space observatory would have moved into the Earth's shadow in August and November this year. The Whitehead Eclipse Avoidance Manoeuvre was started by firing the thrusters of the spacecraft through commands sent up to the spacecraft by the Gaia mission flight control team from the ESA mission operations centre ESOC in Darmstadt, Germany. After a series of 9 thruster burns, the spacecraft was spinned up and brought into a so-called reverse-precession scanning law. More information on this manoeuvre and the transfer into mission extension can be read from this page here.

 

Latest Gaia Stories:

Stories that appeared on the Gaia Scientific Community website:

ESA releases on Gaia science:

 

Voyage 2050: call for white papers still open

ESA has issued two Calls for the Voyage 2050 long-term plan in the ESA Science Programme, covering the period 2035-2050. Similar to the previous plans - Horizon 2000, Horizon 2000 Plus, and Cosmic Vision - the definition of the Voyage 2050 plan relies on open community input and on broad peer review through a two-tiered committee structure, with a Senior Committee of 13 European scientists supported by a number of Topical Teams.

The community input will be gathered through a Call for White Papers. This call solicits ideas from the scientific community for the science themes that should be covered during the Voyage 2050 planning cycle. Any scientist or science team can submit a White Paper, with no limitation in terms of residence or nationality. All White Papers must be submitted in English. White Paper lead scientists cannot be members of the Topical Teams.

The deadline for receipt of White Papers is 5 August 2019, 12:00 (noon) CEST.

Further details on the Calls can be found at the Voyage 2050 website.

 

Gaia's future releases

Anthony Brown gave a look forward to future releases of Gaia at the 53rd ESLAB symposium. Gaia EDR3, the early release of Gaia DR3, is expected to be released in the third quarter of 2020 with a wealth of astrometric and photometric data, a release of QSOs and an update to the Gaia reference frame. Then, in the second half of 2021, one can expect to get the full release of Gaia DR3 with, for selected objects, data such as source classifications, radial velocities, photometric variabilities, minor planets, and non-single star behaviour. An overall precision gain of a factor of 1.2 is expected for Gaia DR3 with respect to Gaia DR2 (for instance for parallax uncertainties), with a factor of improvement of 1.9 for proper motions. Both Gaia EDR3 and Gaia DR3 will be based upon the same set of 34 months of raw satellite data.

More details are also given on expected contents and precision for Gaia Data Release 4 in our overview of the 53rd ESLAB symposium here.

A dedicated page is in place to keep you updated on upcoming releases.

 

Did you know…

  • Several Gaia DPAC members won prestigious prizes in the past months. Have a look at the news items of 2019.
  • Gaia is now on a so-called "reverse-precession scanning law" for the coming year.
  • We entered into Gaia's mission extension this week.
  • The Gaia Archive currently has about 5000 active IP addresses accessing the data per month. More can be read here.
  • The Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium contains about 420 people spread across Europe, with some small contributions from countries outside of Europe.

 

Upcoming conferences on Gaia science

More Gaia related conferences, workshops or symposia can be found from our Gaia calendar! If you wish to advertise your conference or workshop related to the Gaia mission or Gaia data, you can let us know through the Gaia Helpdesk.

 

The Gaia Science Team

The members of the Gaia Science Team were all installed for another 3 years to advice ESA on all aspects related to the scientific performance and goals of Gaia. Find here an overview and picture of the Gaia Science Team.

 

Gaia Observation Forecast Tool

An updated version of the Gaia Observation Forecast Tool was recently released.

 

Follow up on the Gaia mission!

Check out the Gaia Scientific Community website to keep yourself up to date on developments for the Gaia data release or read the latest Gaia news stories on the ESA Science & Technology website dedicated to the Gaia mission. Always wanted to be the first to know the latest news? Then follow us on twitter: @ESAGaia.

Gaia newsletter #6

 

Focus of this newsletter goes to the Gaia DR2 known issues page and its latest update on photometry, as well as to the many Gaia science conferences that are organised this year. We would also like to draw your attention to the Voyage 2050 info from ESA.

 

Gaia DR2 known issues: Photometry - Systematic effects and response curves

The Gaia Data Release 2 photometry is affected by some systematic errors, as already mentioned by Evans et al. (2018) and Arenou et al. (2018). These effects include complex features for faint sources (G greater than about 17), likely caused by problems in the background calibration and contamination from nearby sources. For bright sources (G less than about 6), saturation causes systematic dependencies for which Evans et al. (2018) provide an empirical correction.

A systematic trend with magnitude has been detected in the G band at magnitudes brighter than about 16.5 by comparing Gaia DR2 data with synthetic photometry of CALSPEC sources (Casagrande & VandenBerg 2018, Weiler 2018). This trend is approximately linear. Maíz Apellániz & Weiler (2018), based on their own high-quality spectral library of 122 stars including CALSPEC, have proposed a linear correction of 3.2 +/- 0.3 mmag/mag over the interval 6 < G < 16 to adjust the Gaia G flux scale. However the trend could be more complex than this. Users should be careful that this correction is only valid in this magnitude range and should not be extrapolated, i.e. the value at G = 16 should be used for sources fainter than this.

Furthermore, a small systematic inconsistency in the BP photometric system has been spotted (Weiler 2018, Maíz Apellániz & Weiler 2018). This inconsistency is likely caused by insufficient convergence of the BP calibration for sources brighter than about G = 10.87. The inconsistency depends on colour, being more significant for sources bluer than about BP-RP = 0.5. Maíz Apellániz & Weiler (2018) mitigate this effect by providing two different BP response curves for the magnitude ranges brighter and fainter than G = 10.87.

As already mentioned in Evans et al. (2018), photometric passbands are not fully constrained by any given set of calibration sources (see Weiler 2018 for a detailed discussion). Synthetic photometry derived with such response curves for sources whose spectral energy distributions are not well represented by those calibration sources may be inaccurate.

Maíz Apellániz & Weiler (2018) have presented an alternative set of response curves for the Gaia DR2 photometric system, together with the corresponding zero points. These response curves are based on a library of high-quality spectra that include additional types of spectral energy distributions as compared to the Spectro-Photometric Standard Stars set used by the DPAC calibration (Pancino et al. 2012). These response curves, which must be used with their own zero points, need to be coupled with the suggested modification of the G flux scale. The combination of the suggested corrections and their set of response curves, by mitigating inconsistencies in the published photometry, allows the user to obtain more accurate synthetic photometry and is a valuable attempt to obtain the best possible results from the Gaia DR2 data.

A recipe for the use of Gaia DR2 photometry with the passbands by Maíz Apellániz & Weiler (2018) is available. More information can be found here.

 

Upcoming conferences on Gaia science

This year we see an explosion of conferences related to the Gaia mission and lots of presentations with results from Gaia data releases. An overview of the upcoming conferences can be found here. Some are summarised below:

ESLAB #53: the Gaia universe, 8-12 April 2019 @ ESTEC/The Netherlands

Next week the 53rd ESLAB symposium is devoted to Gaia science. The symposium with title “the Gaia universe” will be held at ESA/ESTEC in the Netherlands with topics ranging from stellar clusters to the impact to solar system objects and from dust maps to kinematics of the Milky Way. People interested can still register for the conference.

IAU Symposium 351 & MODEST-19 “Star Clusters: from the Milky Way to the Early Universe”, 27 - 31 May 2019 @ Bologna/Italy

The symposium intends to bring together astronomers with a broad variety of expertise for a comprehensive discussion on all the aspects of the study of stellar clusters. People interested can still register for the symposium.

STARRY final conference: Gaia’s view of Pre-Main Sequence Evolution - Linking the T Tauri and Herbig Ae/Be stars, 18 -21 June 2019 @ Leeds/UK

The conference focuses on the latest results on star formation, and tries to probe the links between T Tauri stars and Herbig Ae/Be stars in more detail by bringing the respective communities together. Abstract submission for this conference closes soon on 15 April 2019.

EWASS 2019 special sessions, 24-28 June 2019 @ Lyon/France

At EWASS 2019 special session SS28 is devoted to the Gaia status and Exploration Lab. Some presentations will be given on the Gaia mission and on Gaia Data Release 2, followed by some hands-on sessions where participants can work on science cases in the presence of Gaia experts. Two other special session focus on results from Gaia data: SS1 - Recovering an old sky: archive data at full accuracy by Gaia calibrations and SS22 - Stellar multiplicity in the Gaia era: where do we stand? People interested can still register for EWASS 2019.

More Gaia related conferences, workshops or symposia can be found from our Gaia calendar! If you wish to advertise your conference or workshop related to the Gaia mission or Gaia data, you can let us know through the Gaia Helpdesk.

 

Gaia related Phd theses

Anyone who finished his PhD thesis on a Gaia related topic is invited to share information on the thesis with us through this webpage (scroll to the bottom to enter details). Apart from providing a nice overview of produced work on the Gaia mission and on Gaia science, this information is also used when we argue for mission extensions and continued funding of the Gaia mission.

 

Refereed papers on the Gaia mission and Gaia science

We maintain a list of Gaia publications in peer-reviewed journals, which is available to everyone. We always welcome your suggestions on missing papers in the list. Additions, questions or corrections can be send to the Gaia Helpdesk. The list of refereed papers is used to produce some statistics on the science return of the Gaia mission, which are in turn used to support mission extension cases and any requests we make for continued funding of the Gaia mission and Gaia DPAC.

You too can help out with this, by adding the full citation and acknowledgement to your papers when using Gaia data. This is your way to show the data was important for your science.

We see a steady increase in the appearance of refereed papers using Gaia data. A total of 1739 refereed papers appeared since 2014, with about 800 refereed papers in 2018 and already more than 400 in the first quarter of 2019.

 

ESA-EAS exhibit in the EU parliament

From 4 to 8 March an exhibition of the Gaia mission and Gaia science results was organised at the European Parliament through a collaboration of ESA and the European Astronomical Society (EAS), and which was initiated by Clare Moody, member of the European Parliament. Sofia Feltzing, vice-president of EAS, started off the Gaia presentations on 7 April with an overview of Gaia science results: “Exploring the Milky Way: Gaia shines new light on our home in the universe”. Then Guenther Hasinger, ESA Director of Science, discussed the Gaia mission in view of the ESA Science programme: “Exploring the universe: synergies in the ESA Scientific Programme”. The exhibit was well-received at the European Parliament.

 

Latest Gaia Stories:

Stories that appeared on the Gaia Scientific Community website:

ESA releases on Gaia science:

 

Voyage 2050

ESA has issued two Calls for the Voyage 2050 long-term plan in the ESA Science Programme, covering the period 2035-2050. Similar to the previous plans - Horizon 2000, Horizon 2000 Plus, and Cosmic Vision - the definition of the Voyage 2050 plan relies on open community input and on broad peer review through a two-tiered committee structure, with a Senior Committee of 13 European scientists supported by a number of Topical Teams.

The community input will be gathered through a Call for White Papers. This call solicits ideas from the scientific community for the science themes that should be covered during the Voyage 2050 planning cycle. Any scientist or science team can submit a White Paper, with no limitation in terms of residence or nationality. All White Papers must be submitted in English. White Paper lead scientists cannot be members of the Topical Teams.

The deadline for receipt of White Papers is 5 August 2019, 12:00 (noon) CEST.

The Call for Membership of Topical Teams invites applications from scientists working in ESA Member States and with an interest in any topic in space science and in the relevant technologies. Space science is defined here in a broad sense, including the observation of the Universe, planetary science, solar science, study of the space environment, and scientific experiments that can be carried out from a spacecraft. The intention is to have a mix of experience represented in each Topical Team and early career scientists are specifically encourage to apply.

The deadline for receipts of applications is 6 May 2019, 12:00 (noon) CEST.

Further details on the Calls can be found at the Voyage 2050 website

 

Gaia Observation Forecast Tool

To aid astronomers in finding out when their targets will be observed by Gaia, the Gaia Observation Forecast Tool was developed some time ago. With the mission extension coming up, the tool has now been updated to provide also predictions beyond the end of the nominal mission.

 

Follow up on the Gaia mission!

Check out the Gaia Scientific Community website to keep yourself up to date on developments for the Gaia data release or read the latest Gaia news stories on the ESA Science & Technology website dedicated to the Gaia mission. Always wanted to be the first to know the latest news? Then follow us on twitter: @ESAGaia.

 

Did you know…

 

Gaia Newsletter #5

 

Highlights of this newsletter are the update to Gaia Data Release 3 and updates to the Gaia DR2 known issues page.

 

Gaia Data Release 3 split into two parts (announced on 29/01/2019)

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.

 

Updates to the Gaia DR2 known issues

Overview of the current topics available from the Gaia DR2 known issues page:

Keep an eye out for this page! Any new known issues with the Gaia DR2 data will be published here.

 

ESLAB #53 - the Gaia universe: Programme announcement

From 8 to 12 April the 53rd ESLAB Symposium: "the Gaia universe" will be held at ESTEC. The full programme with talks, posters, and pitch sessions has been announced now. The conference will cover a wide range of science topics influenced by the use of Gaia data.

Registration to this conference is still open.

 

Updated functionality at the Gaia Archive

Our Gaia Archive team is continuously working to improve the functionalities of the Gaia Archive. From this February, all Gaia registered users have an upgraded user space giving room to 20GB. Apart from several improvements (which are described in the release notes), some new external catalogues, RAVE DR5 and APASS DR9, were included as well. Some tips and tricks for the Gaia Archive are summarised here. Several tutorials and data access recipes are available from the "Help" tab at the Gaia Archive.

 

Did you know…

 

Latest Gaia Stories:

Stories that appeared on the Gaia Scientific Community website:

ESA releases on Gaia science:

Other releases by ESA featuring Gaia:
 

Interested in communicating your Gaia science results?

We are interested to hear about your Gaia science results. Maybe you have an image or visualisation to share, or you might be working towards a paper to be published. On the “Communicate your Gaia science results page” you can find some guidelines on how to contact us and what type of information will be needed from you.

 

Gaia Mission or Gaia DPAC vacancies

Looking for a job? Gaia mission and Gaia DPAC vacancies are announced through our vacancies page. Currently open are a position for a software developer in the Gaia Barcelona Research team and a Gaia DPAC postdoc position related to crowded field (spectro-)photometric data processing at the Leiden University. Feel free to contact the Gaia Helpdesk to share your own Gaia vacancies at your institute.

 

Gaia Newsletter #4

 

With our 4th newsletter we want to ask your attention to the 53rd ESLAB conference which will  take place in April 2019 at ESTEC.

 

ESLAB #53 - the Gaia universe: CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

ESLAB #53 - the Gaia universe sent out a call for abstracts. Abstracts can be submitted before the deadline of 9 December 2018 end of day. We invite you to advertise this symposium at your institute with a printed poster.

 

ESLAB#53 - the Gaia universe : Registration is open

Registration for the 53rd ESLAB conference is open now. Early registration deadline is 20 January. Join us to learn all about the most recent Gaia science at the ESLAB, from 8 to 12 April at ESTEC, The Netherlands.

 

Citation of Gaia Data Release Documentation is now possible

Both Gaia Data Release 1 Documentation and Gaia Data Release 2 Documentation have been indexed by ADS. Information on the general citation and acknowledgement guidelines can be found here.

 

Gaia Data Access - Call for Gaia DR3 User Scenarios: we need your input!

With the recent release of Gaia DR2, the community is now asked to review the current set of Data Access Scenarios, and submit new data access scenarios, which will be considered for future implementation to support the development of the Gaia Archive system in the release of Gaia DR3 and the following Gaia DR4 release. The data release page gives an indication of the range of Gaia data products currently planned for release in the upcoming data releases.

Your help in describing how you wish to access the Gaia Data through the ESA Gaia archive and/or other access points is very valuable in helping the Gaia project develop and deploy the best possible interfaces and tools to help you, the science community, access and work with the Gaia data.

This call is open until December 2018. Please see the GREAT wiki page for details as to how to add new scenarios. Information on how to sign up are given on the home page under "A note on registering for the wiki”.

 

Did you know…

Did you know there is a tutorial available that discusses what to do if your query times out? This tutorial is available from the help tab at the Gaia Archive.
Did you know there is a page on auxiliary data? It gives access to the Gaia passbands and to some other data that was made available to the community.

 

Latest Gaia Stories:

Stories that appeard on the Gaia Scientific Community website:

 

Interested in communicating your Gaia science results?

We are interested to hear about your Gaia science results. Maybe you have an image or visualisation to share, or you might be working towards a paper to be published. On the “Communicate your Gaia science results page” you can find some guidelines on how to contact us and what type of information will be needed from you.

 

Gaia Mission or Gaia DPAC vacancies

Looking for a job? Gaia mission and Gaia DPAC vacancies are announced through our vacancies page. Currently open are Young Graduate Trainee Opportunities at ESA and a Gaia DPAC postdoc position. Feel free to contact the Gaia Helpdesk to share your own Gaia vacancies at your institute.

 

Gaia Newsletter #3

 

Gaia’s third newsletter is a very festive one: we celebrate the approved mission extension! Enjoy our update on Gaia science and the Gaia Mission.

 

Gaia mission extension

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.

 

Additions to the Gaia Known Issues page

The Gaia DR2 Known Issues page now contains three subjects: “Astrometry: 2- versus 5-parameter solutions”, “ Astrometry: considerations for the use of DR2 astrometry” and “Cross-match: Hipparcos2”. Keep an eye out for this page as any newly found issue with the data will be posted here.

 

ESLAB #53 - the Gaia universe

ESLAB #53 - the Gaia universe sent out a call for abstracts. The website is now fully open and abstracts can be submitted before the deadline of 9 December 2018. We invite you to advertise this symposium at your institute with a printed poster. Registration opens this week. Early registration deadline is 20 January. We hope to hear about your Gaia science at the ESLAB, from 8 to 12 April at ESTEC, The Netherlands.

 

Gaia Data Access - Call for Gaia DR3 User Scenarios: we need your input!

With the recent release of Gaia DR2, the community is now asked to review the current set of Data Access Scenarios, and submit new data access scenarios, which will be considered for future implementation to support the development of the Gaia Archive system in the release of Gaia DR3 and the following Gaia DR4 release. The data release page gives an indication of the range of Gaia data products currently planned for release in the upcoming data releases.

Your help in describing how you wish to access the Gaia Data through the ESA Gaia archive and/or other access points is very valuable in helping the Gaia project develop and deploy the best possible interfaces and tools to help you, the science community, access and work with the Gaia data.

This call is open until December 2018. Please see the GREAT wiki page for details as to how to add new scenarios. Information on how to sign up are given on the home page under "A note on registering for the wiki”.

 

3rd DPAC Consortium meeting

From 1 to 5 October Gaia DPAC members gathered to discuss the ongoing preparations for Gaia data release 3 and to reflect on Gaia data release 2. About 175 of the 415 DPAC members attended the meeting and joined in on the many fruitful discussions on how to tackle the issues one encounters when dealing with big data and the processing of big data using a distributed group of people. During the meeting a memorable poster was created with signatures of all the DPAC attendants at the meeting. More info on this meeting can be found here: “3rd Gaia DPAC Consortium meeting”.

 

Interested in communicating your Gaia science results?

We are interested to hear about your Gaia science results. Maybe you have an image or visualisation to share, or you might be working towards a paper to be published. On the “Communicate your Gaia science results page” you can find some guidelines on how to contact us and what type of information will be needed from you.

 

Did you know…

Did you know that as of today, Gaia took more than 21 billion spectroscopic CCD measurements, more than 225 billion photometric CCD measurements and more than 1 trillion astrometric CCD measurements. The number of objects that passed through the Gaia focal plane already surpasses 113 billion, and more than 7 billion objects passed through the RVS instrument. Interested to follow up on some Gaia numbers? Check out our mission numbers page.
Did you know that Gaia sent out more than 100 photometric science alerts in November alone on supernovae, transients, flaring stars and more, interesting for following-up with other observatories. More information can be found on the Gaia Photometric Science Alerts webpage.
Did you know that Gaia also sends out alerts on Solar System objects? These are distributed by the Gaia Follow-Up Network for Solar System Objects (Gaia-FUN-SSO). A total of more than 3400 alerts have been sent out since the first trigger was announced.

 

Gaia Mission or Gaia DPAC vacancies

Looking for a job? Gaia mission and Gaia DPAC vacancies are announced through our vacancies page. Feel free to contact the Gaia Helpdesk to share your own Gaia vacancies at your institute.

 

Latest Gaia Stories:

Gaia hints at our Galaxy’s turbulent life” (ESA Science & Technology story), “Snail shell pattern in the velocity of stars - Gaia data” (image release), “Snail shell pattern in the velocity of stars” (image release), “The Sagittarius dwarf galaxy in Gaia’s all-sky view” (image release) (ESA Space in Images), “Perturbations in the Milky Way” (image release)

Plausible home stars for interstellar object ‘Oumuamua” (Gaia Scientific Community story), “Gaia finds candidates for interstellar ‘Oumuamua’s home” (ESA Science & Technology story), “Past trajectories of the Sun, ‘Oumuamua and one of its potential home stars” (image release)

Gaia spots stars flying between galaxies” (ESA Science & Technology story), “Sprinting stars in the Milky Way” (image release) (ESA Space in Images)

Galactic hosts: Gaia uncovers major event in the formation of the Milky Way” (ESA Science & Technology story),  Gaia-Enceladus stars across the sky” (image release), “Gaia-Enceladus stars across the sky (2)” (image release) (ESA Space in Images), “Stellar debris of Galactic merger in the Milky Way” (image release), “A major event in the formation of the Milky Way” (image release), “Merger in the early formation stages of our Galaxy” (video release)

Some extra stories targeting the Gaia Scientific Community:

Gaia Newsletter #2

 

Dear Gaia newsletter subscribers,

With our second newsletter we try to bring you up to speed on the Gaia Data Release 2 and the latest developments in the Gaia mission. Also we would like to draw your attention to a call for Gaia DR3 user scenarios.


Announcement of ESLAB #53: The Gaia Universe

A conference will be held at ESTEC from 8 to 12 April 2019. Registration will open soon. The conference website can be found here.


Gaia Data Release 2

On 25 April 2018 at 12:00 CEST the Gaia mission released it second catalogue of sources. The release was announced through a press conference at ILA in Berlin and at various DPAC institutes all over Europe.

Replay the Gaia DR2 press conference or have a look at the overview page for Gaia Data Release 2 with many more videos discussing Gaia Data Release 2. For detailed information, read through the Gaia DR2 In-depth stories.

Many images and stories were released through ESA Science & Technology:
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.

Make sure to watch the 360 degrees Gaia first sky map in colour with your smartphone or tablet! To get the full resolution version of the Gaia Sky in Colour, go to this page and select the version with the highest resolution. If you have a Virtual Reality set at home, browse the various VR resources using Gaia data. This page also links to some more 360 degrees videos on Gaia data.

Try out the application “Gaia’s stellar familiy portrait” to explore the Gaia Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, based on Gaia Data Release 2.


Important resources for users of Gaia data

Most important resources to understand the processing and content of Gaia data release 2 are the data release documentation and data release papers. The A&A special edition on Gaia Data Release 2 is now out as well and can be found here.

Each data release comes with its own citation guidelines. Please remember to add the acknowledgement and cite the relevant papers. This will greatly help us to argue for continued funding of the data processing effort and possible mission extensions.

To quickly get up to speed using Gaia data and be warned about the limitations of the data, check out the Gaia DR2 Guide for Scientists. These are short videos on very specific topics like “Validation”, “Apsis results”, “radial velocities”, “on the use of parallaxes”, and many more based on skype interviews with the Gaia DPAC experts on the subject.

Get your updates on newly found issues in Gaia Data Release 2 here, or read through some Archive tips and FAQ on data access

Wondering how to upload a table and use this in combination with Gaia data? Check out the "White Dwarfs Exploration tutorial". Wondering how to deal with large queries and timeouts? Check out the “query timeouts tutorial”. Wondering where to find the light curves? Check out the explantion of the Datalink Service and the “Datalink and light curves tutorial” Check out those and various other tutorials available from the Help tab at the Gaia Archive.

Discovered an issue? Are you unable to find your way to the data? Is something still unclear? Contact the Gaia Helpdesk and we bring you into contact with our Gaia or DPAC expert on the subject.

 

Gaia Data Access - Call for Gaia DR3 User Scenarios

With the recent release of Gaia DR2, the community is now asked to review the current set of Data Access Scenarios, and submit new data access scenarios, which will be considered for future implementation to support the development of the Gaia Archive system in the release of Gaia DR3 and the following Gaia DR4 release. The data release page gives an indication of the range of Gaia data products currently planned for release in the upcoming data releases.

Your help in describing how you wish to access the Gaia Data through the ESA Gaia archive and/or other access points is very valuable in helping the Gaia project develop and deploy the best possible interfaces and tools to help you, the science community, access and work with the Gaia data.

This call is open until December 2018. Please see the GREAT wiki page for details as to how to add new scenarios. Information on how to sign up are given on the home page under "A note on registering for the wiki”.


Gaia DR2 Exploration Lab

In June a Gaia DR2 Exploration Lab was held at ESAC (Madrid) to stimulate state-of-the-art exploitation of the Gaia DR2 dataset. A week to bring together scientists with diverse educational and cultural backgrounds, with different interests and from different locations working together on exciting scientific topics in a collaborative spirit.


More stories on Gaia

Some more stories are available through Gaia Cosmos: Mapping and Visualising Gaia DR2, Asteroids in Gaia and Impressions from the IAU General Assembly with presentations and information on the virtual reality demonstrations given.
Other stories were published by ESA Science and Technology: Infant exoplanet weighed by Hipparcos and Gaia; by ESA Space in Videos: ESA Euronews: Gaia’s revolution in astronomy; by ESA Space in Images: Flying through asteroids in VR, Exoplanet mission timeline, Astrometric measurements to detect exoplanets, Gaia’s stellar family portrait.


More information on future releases

Currently Gaia DPAC is processing the data for Gaia Data Release 3. More information on future data releases and their contents is given here.

 

Gaia mission or Gaia DPAC vacancies

Looking for a job? Gaia mission and Gaia DPAC vacancies are announced through our vacancies page. Interested in an ESA Research Fellowship in Space Science? Deadline to submit applications for research fellowships is 1 October. More details can be found on ESA Faculty Page.

Gaia Newsletter #1

Dear all,

Welcome to the Gaia Newsletter. The Gaia newsletter will be used to announce updates on the Gaia mission and the Gaia data releases.

 

Upcoming Gaia Data Release 2

On wednesday 25 April Gaia will release a catalogue of 1,692,919,135 sources of which all will have position and brightness, and most will have parallax, proper motion and colour information. The release will also contain radial velocities for more than 7 million sources, effective temperatures for more than 160 million sources and other astrophysical parameters for more than 76 milion sources. Data Release 2 will contain as well epoch data (position and brightness) on more than 14,000 asteroids.

More detailed information on the exact contents of Gaia Data Release 2 can be found here.

The press event of the release will take place at ILA in Berlin, and a livestream of this event will be available. Many local events are organised at institutes involved in the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis.

A webpage pointing to Gaia DR2 resources, information and updates can be found here. The link to the livestream of the press event will be provided on this page once known on 25 April.

 

Maitenance to the Gaia Archive

To prepare for the second data release, the Gaia Archive will be taken down for an extended period. Downtime starts 11 April 12:00 and ends when Gaia DR2 is released on 25 April. During this time, downloading the Gaia DR1 data will remain available (through this link). Gaia DR1 data is also served from our partner data centres, information on these data centres can be found here.


Gaia DR2 Exploration Lab

From 25 to 29 June 2018 a scientific gathering is planned to explore the Gaia DR2 data. This event takes place at ESAC near Madrid (Spain). Are you interested in brainstorming uses of Gaia data in a collaborative way? Registration for this event is still open until 13 April. More information on this event can be found here.


Gaia DR2 Workshop

From 18 to 21 June 2018 a workshop on the contents and learning how to access Gaia DR2 is given in Heidelberg (Germany). Registration for this workshop is open now through this page.


ESLAB #53: The Gaia Universe

At ESA ESTEC in Noordwijk (The Netherlands) a conference will be planned to discuss science using Gaia data. This event will take place from 8 to 12 April 2019. More information will follow soon.


Latest Gaia stories

Gaia public outreach stories can be found here. More in-depth stories aimed at astronomers can be found on here.