Known issues with the Gaia DR3 data


This page lists any issues found in Gaia Data Release 3 which could not be incorporated into the official data release, or which were discovered after the release of the data and publication of the release documentation. The Gaia DR3 contents page contains a summary of limitations that are known, and documented, at the release. Further information can be found from the data release documentation, as well as from the data release overview paper and the data release processing papers.



QSO: QSO candidates with missing catalogues names

The surface brightness sample published in the qso_candidates is based on an input list of sources described in Section 9.2 of the on-line documentation. This list was built based on external catalogues and the table qso_catalogue_name provides the names of the applicable catalogues for each of the sources featuring surface brightness parameters in qso_candidates. Due to an oversight during the processing, the catalogue name is missing for 494 sources. In this file, the list of affected sourceIds is provided.

Published: 13 June 2022


SSO: Number of observations of Solar System Objects

The number of observations (num_of_obs) in the sso_source table contains a wrong value in 4 cases, with the correct number being present in the sso_observation table:

  • sourceId -4284051496, corresponding to number_mp (91580), has 317 num_of_obs in the sso_source table, but 310 entries in the sso_observation table;
  • sourceId -4283766166, corresponding to number_mp (120113), has 74 num_of_obs in the sso_source table, but 69 entries in the sso_observation table;
  • sourceId -4281797236, corresponding to number_mp (317006), has 64 num_of_obs in the sso_source table, but 63 entries in the sso_observation table;
  • sourceId -4283795346, corresponding to number_mp (117195), has 76 num_of_obs in the sso_source table, but 75 entries in the sso_observation_table.

For more information see the 'Gaia Data Release 3: Catalogue Validation' paper and the Validation chapter of the Gaia data release documentation.

Published: 13 June 2022


Astrophysical Parameters: Missing bolometric correction for some sources

Upon validation of the data, a minor processing bug was discovered in the FLAME software which resulted in a list of 153,474 sources that have valid FLAME parameters but for which the associated field bc_flame is set to null. The user can recover these values by using the bolometric correction function which is provided as part of the astrophysical parameter tool which is available on the Gaia DR3 software tools webpage. For more information, see Creevey et al. (2022).

Published: 13 June 2022


Astrophysical parameters: Small set of GSPspec results out of validity ranges and with wrong extrapolation flag

The flags_gspspec chain includes a specific character named "extrapol" (c.f. Table 2 in Recio-Blanco et al. 2022) that controls the extrapolation level of the GSPspec parametrization. A bug in the implementation of this "extrapol" flag has left 251 sources with at least one extrapolated parameter and values outside the corresponding validity ranges. The list of Gaia DR3 identifiers of these sources is in the attached file.

Published: 13 June 2022


Golden Sample of Astrophysical Parameters: Two incorrect source_ids in gaiadr3.gold_sample_spss

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

Published: 10 October 2022


Variability: 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 is under construction.

Published: 23 June 2022 - Update expected!


Photometry - Sources with missing G Fluxes


Poor input colour recovery

The sources in this issue were originally found to be much fainter than expected during the validation phase and subsequently their photometry was removed from the Gaia EDR3 as well as from the Gaia DR3 catalogues. The cause of this was found to be poor input Spectral Shape Coefficient, SSC, (colour) values. Following this, the transits for these sources were all processed as Bronze sources i.e. using default SSCs, for all three flux types (G, GBP and GRP) and generating weighted mean flux values (and their errors) for each source. This will make the source consistently Bronze. See Section 8.2 of Riello et al. 2020 for more details.

In this file, magnitudes have been generated from the fluxes using the formula:


where the zeropoints are the Gaia EDR3 VEGAMAG ones which can be found in Riello et al. 2021 (Section 7, Table 3).

This issue affects 5,401,215 sources.

Note that the GBP magnitudes will still be affected by the bias mentioned in Section 8.1 of Riello et al. 2021. Care should be taken when using GBP magnitudes fainter than 20.3. See also Section 9.2 for some suggestions on possible filtering criteria.


Download the file

Please connect with an FTP client of your choice or using the terminal to and navigate to the folder GAIA_PUBLIC_DATA. Here you can find a folder PhotometryEDR3. The file with details on these sources can be found there along with a readme.txt file.


Insufficient valid transits

During the validation of the Gaia EDR3 catalogue, 54,125 sources were found not to have a mean G flux available in the Gaia EDR3 and Gaia DR3 catalogues even though astrometric information was available for them. Investigation showed that these sources had too few valid transits for photometric processing. The validity criteria are different in the photometric and astrometric processing chains.

As a convenience to the user, a median Gvpu on-board magnitude (see Gaia EDR3 Documentation Section is provided for these sources, but stored with a reduced precision (10%). This is to stop users misguidedly trying to use these values for science. They are purely a general indicator of the brightness of the source. It must be stressed that these values are uncalibrated and on a different photometric system to that of the G values in Gaia EDR3.

Download the file

The file with details on these sources can be downloaded through this link.


Published already for Gaia Early Data Release 3 (before 13 June 2022)