Gaia Mission News - Gaia
10/03/2021 Gaia EDR3 crossmatch tables released
The remaining crossmatch tables: GSC 2.3, APASS dr9, RAVE dr5, TMASS PSC XSC, and allWISE are now all available from the Gaia Archive. They are also available from the bulk download section. The data release documentation has been updated accordingly. Make sure to get the most up to date version from our documentation pages.
08/03/2021 Gaia-TESS collaboration kicks off
TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) is a NASA space mission surveying nearby bright stars in search of extrasolar planets, pushing ahead the fast-growing and exciting study of planets outside our solar system. TESS finds planets that cross our line of sight to their host stars, causing a periodic dimming of the observed light of the system. TESS is issuing a monthly list of newly discovered candidates of transiting exoplanets. However, TESS angular resolution allows light of each target star to be blended with the light from nearby sources. Therefore, follow-up photometric observations are required in order to exclude apparent transits caused by blending with nearby eclipsing binary stars, before further confirmation observations should be performed.
The Gaia mission has been accumulating brightness measurements of billions of stars, with a high angular resolution, producing distinct brightness time series for all sources whose light might be blended with the TESS planet-host candidate. Therefore, Gaia can quickly identify false positive candidates and even confirm true planets in some cases, synergistically combining the capabilities of two of the astronomical space flagships of the USA and Europe – TESS and Gaia.
The analysis of the Gaia relevant data is done at Tel Aviv University by Aviad Panahi, Tsevi Mazeh and Shay Zucker as members of the Gaia DPAC/CU7 team, and the results are reported to the TESS Quick Look Pipeline manager at MIT and TESS Follow-up Observing Program Working Group (TFOPWG) coordinator.
03/02/2021 Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture for Amina Helmi
The European Astronomical Society (EAS) announced yesterday that the 2021 Lodewijk Woltjer Lecture has been awarded to Prof. Amina Helmi of the University of Groningen for advancing the understanding of how the Milky Way assembled using dynamical simulations combined with Gaia observations of distances, velocities, ages and chemical abundances of stars. Amina Helmi is a member of the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium and plays a role in the validation of the Gaia data.
03/02/2021 New release of the Gaia Data Release Documentation
Today a new release of the data release documentation for Gaia EDR3 was published, in anticipation of the release of the second part of the cross-match tables, which is expected very soon now.
16/02/2021 EAS meeting 2021 - Gaia: The (2) Billion Star Galaxy Census: The Science of EDR3 and the promise of DR3
Registration and abstract submission is now open for the EAS 2021 meeting 28 June - 2 July 2021. As part of the EAS meeting, a two day MW-Gaia / GREAT/ Gaia Symposium will be held on 28-29 June 2021. The programme focuses on science highlights from Gaia EDR3, a status overview on Gaia / Gaia Archive / MW-Gaia / Gaia Unlimited and ground-based synergies with Gaia. As in previous years the programme will consist largely of contributed talks. You are encouraged to submit your abstract (submit to Symposium S15) for the meeting with abstracts from early stage researchers especially welcome. Abstract deadline is 2 March 2021.
08/02/2021 ESA YGT opportunities
ESA has announced its new Young Graduate Traineeship (YGT) opportunities. Among the list of 2021 YGT opportunities, one position focuses on the Gaia mission, and more details on this specific position can be found here.
22/01/2021 Some DPAC services will be down Tuesday morning
Due to some upgrade to the systems, on Tuesday morning between 09:30 and 12:30 CET, some of the Gaia DPAC services will be down: SVN, Nexus, MDB explorer and MDB dictionary tool. This downtime does not extend to the other Gaia DPAC services.
15/01/2021 Datalink functionality down
Due to maintenance to some of our servers, the datalink functionality to retrieve lightcurves from the Gaia Archive is down at the moment. We are working to get things up as soon as possible. UPDATE: Datalink is back up.
18/12/2020 Grand Prize 2020 for Gaia
At its last session on 25 September, the Air and Space Academy (AAE) has awarded its Grand Prize 2020 to Anthony Brown, astronomer at the Leiden Observatory, and Vincent Poinsignon, Gaia satellite project manager at Airbus Defence & Space, for their decisive contribution to the success of the scientific space mission of the Gaia satellite.
18/12/2020 Vacancies for postdoctoral positions at Leiden Observatory
Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position at Leiden Observatory to work on the survey selection function for the Gaia mission. The research will be done as part of the EU-funded GaiaUnlimited project. More information can be found here, or contact Anthony Brown directly.
03/12/2020 Gaia Early Data Release 3 online now!
Today at 12:00 CET, the Gaia Collaboration released its Gaia Early Data Release 3 catalogue. If you are interested to follow up on some of the events, which are still ongoing, check out our events page. More information on the release can be found from the Gaia Early Data Release 3 overview page. Some stories highlighting the release have been published here.
01/12/2020 Build your own mini-Gaia
Need something to do while waiting for the Gaia Archive to come back online? Why not build a mini-Gaia in the meantime. Building instructions are provided thanks to Willliam Taylor. You can find an example of the mini-Gaia model below.
01/12/2020 Gaia Archive is down for Gaia EDR3 preparations
Today at 12:00 CET the Gaia Archive went into countdown mode to allow the Gaia Archive team to perform the last preparations to make the Gaia EDR3 catalogue available to you on 3 December 2020 at 12:00 CET.
30/11/2020 Precise maps of millions of bright quasars show our place in the cosmos as never before
On 24 November a Science Magazine article was published on the Gaia reference frame and its impact on navigation in space.
27/11/2020 Gaia Newsletter Issue 14
Find the latest version of the Gaia Newsletter here.
26/11/2020 Announcement of Gaia EDR3 events
Gaia DPAC and ESA Gaia teams are happy to announce the release of Gaia EDR3 on 3 December 2020. Gaia DPAC organises virtual events in many languages and with different formats, ranging from press briefings, scientific presentations to public outreach talks. Have a look at this webpage for the complete overview.
18/11/2020 Gaia EDR3 source code
16/11/2020 ESA internship opportunities
A new round of ESA internship opportunities are now available at the ESA Careers website. Check out the internships in the Directorate of Science, including internships making use of Gaia Mission data!
10/11/2020 Gaia Archive upgrade to version 2.10
On Thursday 12 November from 10:00 to 12:00 CET, the Gaia Archive will be down to allow for an upgrade of the systems. The Gaia Archive is getting ready for the new release of Gaia data. On 1 December 2020, the Gaia Archive will go down at 12:00 to allow for the final preparations of the Gaia Early Data Release 3 which will come online on 3 December 2020 at 12:00 CET.
05/11/2020 Gaia DPAC services down on 7 November
To allow for some maintenance, most Gaia DPAC services like Jira, Wiki, Nexus, GPDB, GOST, helpdesk, SVN will be down on Saturday 7 November 2020 from 09:00 to 19:00 CET. Gaia Cosmos and the Gaia Content Server remain accessible.
04/11/2020 Gaia Archive countdown towards Gaia EDR3
Please be aware that the Gaia Archive will be down from 1 December 2020 12:00 CET counting down towards the release of Gaia EDR3 on 3 December 2020 at 12:00 CET. This short downtime of two days allows our Gaia Archive team to make the necessary preparations to bring the Gaia EDR3 catalogue online on 3 December.
04/11/2020 Gaia Archive down for maintenance
In preparation of our Gaia EDR3 release, maintenance is needed to our Gaia Archive. Today the Gaia Archive was down from 09:00 to 13:00 CET. The downtime today allows for reducing the downtime of the Gaia Archive later closer to the release day (3 December 2020). The Gaia Archive team is still working behind the scenes. Users might experience some slowness due to the caches filling up again, especially when using the cross-match tables.
03/11/2020 Gaia EDR3 update
The titles of both the summary paper, processing papers and the performance verification papers can be found now on a dedicated page for the Gaia EDR3 papers.
02/11/2020 International Astronomical Union - Focus meeting 7
At the IAU General Assembly XXXI in Busan, Rep. of Korea, a focus meeting will be held on "Astrometry for 21st century astronomy". The IAU General Assembly will take place from 16 to 27 August 2021. The precise dates for the Focus Meeting 7 will be announced later.
02/11/2020 Trainee opportunities at ESAC
Soon trainee opportunities will be announced through the ESA careers website. Opportunities at ESAC, including one for the Gaia mission, can be checked out here.
30/10/2020 Gaia EDR3 events
Events are planned to present Gaia Early Data Release 3 to the public. Due to the pandemic, these events will be planned mostly (if not all) as online events on 3 December 2020 from 10:00 AM CET. More information on the Gaia EDR3 events will follow soon, and will be made available through the Gaia EDR3 overview page.
29/10/2020 Gaia EDR3 passbands
To allow the scientific community to prepare, the Gaia EDR3 passbands are shared in advance of the Gaia Early Data Release 3, which is expected to go public on 3 December 2020 at 12:00 CET.
23/10/2020 Falling Walls nomination for Anthony Brown
We are happy to announce that Anthony Brown, head of the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC), was selected as a finalist in the category of physical sciences for the Falling Walls Conference, which will be held remotely this year between 1 and 10 November. Anthony Brown was nominated by the University of Heidelberg for breaking the walls in astronomy. Gaia Data Release 2 has led to a revolution on astronomy, with the Gaia data being of use to practically all fields of astronomy.
Anthony stresses that the processing and preparation of Gaia data releases is a joint effort by Gaia DPAC, and that this recognition is for the entire Gaia DPAC team.
21/10/2020 Planned maintenance to Cosmos
The Gaia Cosmos website, Gaia FTPs, Gaia Archive help pages and some of the Gaia DPAC services like the content server will be down on Saturday 24 October 2020 between 08:00 and 18:00 CEST.
20/10/2020 Lennart Lindegren and Jackie Faherty awarded prizes for dynamical astronomy
We are pleased to announce that Lennart Lindegren and Jackie Faherty were awarded prizes by the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Division on Dynamical Astronomy (DDA). Lennart was awarded the 2020 Dirk Brouwer Career Award, and Jackie Faherty won the 2020 Vera Rubin Early Career Prize. Find here more information on the prizes and this news.
08/10/2020 Vacancy for a postdoc at ICCUB - Barcelona
The Institute of Cosmos Sciences of the University of Barcelona is seeking a Postdoctoral fellow in Structure and Evolution of the Milky Way galaxy through Gaiaa for its Unit of Excellence Maria de Maeztu postdoctoral positions. Find more information on this position in the attached document.
08/10/2020 Research Fellowship opportunities at ESA
ESA has announced an opportunity for post-doctoral research fellowships linked to its science missions, including Gaia. Deadline to submit applications is 29 October 2020. More information can be found here.
15/09/2020 Gaia EDR3 draft data model available now
To allow the scientific community to prepare for the release of Gaia EDR3, a draft version of the Gaia Early Data Release 3 data model has been made available. Gaia EDR3 is planned to be released on 3 December 2020.
14/09/2020 Happy Gaia DR1 day
Four years ago, Gaia released its first catalogue of stars: Gaia Data Release 1.
10/09/2020 Gaia Archive maintenance planned
On Monday 14 September, maintenance to the Gaia Archive is planned which will cause a short downtime between 10:00 and 12:00 CEST.
We have fixed the Gaia EDR3 release date to 3 December 2020 (at 12:00 CET). All data has been produced and the validation is currently underway. The contents of Gaia EDR3 can be found from this page and an overview page will provide further details of the release as it becomes available. Although the pandemic continues to complicate and slow down the progress toward Gaia DR3, the release is expected to take place during the first half of 2022. An overview of the contents of Gaia DR3 can be found from the data release scenario page.
19/08/2020 Gaia Archive upgrade to version 2.9.1
Tomorrow morning between 09:00 and 11:00 CEST the Gaia Archive will be shortly down to allow for an upgrade to version 2.9.1. The upgrade will bring some usability improvements. More information on the exact changes in the new version can be found from the release notes.
19/08/2020 Podcast with Anthony Brown
Find here a podcast interview with our Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium chair: Anthony Brown.
On this page a description is given of the expected contents of Gaia's Early Data Release 3. The Gaia EDR3 catalogue will be based on 34 months of data collection, and is expected to contain about 1.8 billion stars. Gaia EDR3 is on track for a release late 2020. A more exact date will be announced later.
12/06/2020 Update to the Gaia DR2 known issues
As described in Section 5.1 of the paper Gaia Data Release 2: The astrometric solution, there are strong indications that the Gaia DR2 positions and proper motions for stars with G ≲12 mag have a significant orientation and rotation bias, respectively. It is advisable to correct for these biases for high-accuracy applications and/or applications that cover long time intervals. A new item on the orientation and rotation of the Gaia DR2 reference frame for bright objects has been added to the Gaia DR2 known issues to help you guide to the corrections available. Also the Gaia DR2 primer has been updated to reflect this information.
07/05/2020 Gaia Archive upgrade to version 2.8
On Monday 11 May, a new version of the Gaia Archive will be deployed. The Gaia Archive will hence be unavailable in the morning and should be ready to be accessed again by 13:00 CEST. Apart from some fixes, there is an update to the ADQL supported functions and an improvement with respect to the interoperability with VO tools. More details will be available in the release notes on Monday 11 May from 13:00 CEST.
07/05/2020 Gaps in Gaia DR2 data
A description and overview of gaps in the data stream that underlies the Gaia DR2 data products can be found here.
25/04/2020 Gaia DR2 - second anniversary
Today the Gaia Mission celebrates the second anniversary of Gaia Data Release 2. The Gaia catalogues have been embraced by many scientists across the world. Today, we are proud of the many papers that appeared using our latest release, Gaia DR2. In the past 2 years, almost 3000 refereed papers based on Gaia Data Release 2 have been published. That amounts on average to 4 papers per day. Thank you for using our data with so much enthusiasm! In the meantime, ESA Gaia teams and Gaia DPAC are continuously working towards next data releases. Keep posted with our Gaia newsletter of upcoming releases.
Gaia's first release came out on 14 September 2016. On 25 April 2018, the Gaia Collaboration published its second date release.
20/03/2020 Gaia Newsletter Issue #10
Please find the latest issue of the Gaia Newsletter here.
The COVID-19 virus is spreading across the globe and its impact is also felt in the Gaia collaboration. The data processing effort is distributed over many European countries which adopt different approaches to fight the pandemic. In some countries, restrictions are very severe and the situation is rapidly changing towards more restrictions everywhere.
The schedule towards Gaia (E)DR3 is already affected and more delays can be anticipated. Those scientists and computer engineers in the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) who can work are now mostly working from home, but their priority is their own health and that of their families. Furthermore, resolving problems with computer hardware takes longer than usual due to the absence of personnel on operational sites.
Therefore, schedule delays of both Gaia Early DR3 and Gaia DR3 are inevitable, but can only be quantified after more clarity of the overall situation has been achieved. As soon as possible, a new schedule for the releases will be announced. While data processing has slowed down, the good news is that Gaia continues to collect valuable science data. With this note we wish everyone good health in the coming times.
06/03/2020 Gaia's latest science stories
Milky Way's warp caused by Galactic collision, Gaia suggests: Astronomers have pondered for years why our galaxy, the Milky Way, is warped. Data from ESA's star-mapping satellite Gaia suggest the distortion might be caused by an ongoing collision with another, smaller, galaxy, which sends ripples through the galactic disc like a rock thrown into water. Further reading here.
Global Gaia campaign reveals secrets of stellar pair: A 500-day global observation campaign spearheaded more than three years ago by ESA’s galaxy-mapping powerhouse Gaia has provided unprecedented insights into the binary system of stars that caused an unusual brightening of an even more distant star. Further reading here.
12/02/2020 Gaia Archive shortly unaccessible through archives.esac.esa.int/gaia
On February 17th between 14:00 and 15:00 CET, there will be a downtime of the archives.esac.esa.int machine. This means that anyone trying to access the Gaia Archives through the link archives.esac.esa.int/gaia will not be able to reach the Gaia Archive. During this period, please access the Gaia Archive using https://gea.esac.esa.int/archive/.
11/02/2020 Network outage at ESAC
Due to a network downtime at ESAC, several Gaia DPAC services are affected: Gaia Jira, Gaia DPAC wiki and Gaia Helpdesk. Some other services may experience problems as well. We hope to get things up as soon as possible.
16/01/2020 Gaia Archive upgrades to https
Please be reminded that the Gaia Archive will only be served using https starting on 1 February 2020, this in order to improve security. Requests to the old http access point will automatically be redirected. However, existing scripts may fail to be rerouted. For example, you may experience problems with old astroquery versions or hard coded URLs. Please update astroquery, or replace http by https in your code when needed. Some examples can be found in the GUI Help => Command line access. Please contact the Gaia Helpdesk if you still experience problems.
15/01/2020 Updated version of the Gaia DR2 primer
The Gaia DR2 primer has been updated to version 1.1. Apart from fixing some typos, some extra explanation is given on the TCB and links were added to the guide-to-scientists videos. Today's added known issue can also be found in the primer now.
Today we updated the Gaia DR2 known issues page with information on missing objects in the neighbourhood cross-match table with Gaia DR1 sources. This table contains the G-band magnitude difference, the angular distance, and an empirical metric combining both quantities (called “rank”), for all possible matches between Gaia DR1 and Gaia DR2 sources.
Please read through the new known issue carefully to see if it affects how you use Gaia data.
Selection of some interesting news from past years
12/12/2019 Sampling of the Gaia scanning law now available
Today the sampling of the Gaia scanning law over the 22 month time period covered by the Gaia Data Release 2, including the Ecliptic Pole Scanning at the begin of the mission, is made available from the Gaia Auxiliary Data webpage. Note that this is the commanded attitude of the spacecraft, the actual attitude could deviate from it by up to about 30 arcsec. Find more details here.
Below you can see a visualisation of how Gaia scanned the sky during its first 14 months of operations, so for the time period covered by Gaia Data Release1.
09/12/2019 Release of the Gaia DR2 primer
The Gaia Helpdesk is happy to announce the release of the Gaia DR2 primer "Everything you wish you had known before you started working with Gaia Data Release 2". This primer collects all information, tips and tricks, pitfalls, caveats, and recommendations relevant to Gaia’s second data release in one place and provides pointers to where more detailed information can be found. It is aimed at astronomers interested in using Gaia DR2 data, including undergraduates and PhD students.
24/10/2019 Gaia astronomical revolution
The Gaia Data Release 2 catalogues has been used extensively by astronomers across the world. About 3 to 4 papers appear per day based on the Gaia DR2 catalogue, touching many different topics.
26/09/2019 Update to the Gaia data release scenario
Data processing toward Gaia (E)DR3 continues to progress within the announced schedule. However, to ensure sufficient quality of the quasars and extended objects results, an additional processing run has to be scheduled moving their outcome from Gaia EDR3 to Gaia DR3. Another modification concerns a new data product. A pencil beam survey with (integrated) epoch photometry of all sources (variable and non-variable) will be added to Gaia DR3. The selected field is centred on the Andromeda Galaxy. The cone with 5.5 degree radius contains in total about 1 million sources both in M31 and the Milky Way. In order not to impact the release schedule, only a limited amount of explicit validation will be done on the pencil beam epoch photometry.
28/08/2019 Gaia untangles the starry strings of the Milky Way
A new story was published today discussing science findings from Gaia's second data release: "Gaia untangles the starry strings of the Milky Way".
22/08/2019 Gaia DR2 known issue
An update to the Gaia DR2 known issues page became available today, discussing systematic effects in the Gaia DR2 parallaxes for very bright stars.
17/07/2019 Gaia moves into mission extension
Yesterday a major manoeuvre took place to ensure Gaia would keep out of Earth's shadow for the coming years. This manoeuvre, called the Whitehead Eclipse Avoidance Manoeuvre, also marks the transition of the Gaia mission into its first mission extension. Congratulations to the Gaia team at ESOC for the great achievement yesterday!
24/06/2019 NWO Spinoza prize for our Gaia DPAC member Amina Helmi
The NWO Spinoza Prize, which is the highest award in Dutch science, was awarded to several researchers working in the Netherlands who belong to the absolute top of science and have done groundbreaking research. Amina Helmi is one of the NWO Spinoza Laureates for her work on the Dynamics, Structure and Formation of the Milky Way at the Kapteyn Institute of the University of Groningen. She is part of Coordination Unit 9 in the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium and participates in the validation of the Gaia data.
23/05/2019 Lorenzoni Prize 2019 for Gaia DPAC member Eloisa Poggio
The Lorenzoni Prize is an award instituted by the Societa' Astronomica Italiana (SAIt) with the sponsorship of "Officina Stellare" (an Italian manufacturing company in the field of design and construction of telescopes and precision opto-mechanical instrumentation for professional applications for scientific research, aerospace and defense) to reward the best scientific article published by a young researcher in the last 3 years.
This year the Lorenzoni Prize was won by Eloisa Poggio, a young researcher that has published the paper "The Galactic warp revealed by Gaia DR2 kinematics". This paper using Gaia DR2 data reveals that the warp of the Milky Way is a gravitationally induced phenomenon. She was awarded with her prize during the SAIt national meeting that was held in Rome on 16 May 2019.
25/04/2019 Geographic contributions to DPAC
Today marks the first birthday of our Gaia Data Release 2, a data release that truly changed our view of the Milky Way. We'd like to celebrate this day with a special thank you to all the people involved in all stages of Gaia's life: from initial proposal, to gathering interest, to design and building and actual operating of the spacecraft. From getting the data down, checking the health of the data, to processing the raw data into a scientifically usable format and then validating to make sure the data is truly that great!
In the image released today you can see the geographic contributions to the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium. It shows the countries where the people in DPAC are working. Read further on Gaia DPAC and its contribution to Gaia Data Release 2 in our newest story available here.
18/04/2019 Summary of the 53rd ESLAB symposium
From 8-12 April 2019, the 53rd ESLAB symposium took place at ESTEC, The Netherlands. A summary of the results shown at the symposium can be found here.
07/04/2019 Rethinking everything we know about star clusters
Recently an overview article appeared on ESA Science & Technology discussing the role of Gaia in our knowledge of star clusters. By studying stellar clusters, Gaia reveals much about the formation and evolution of stars in our surroundings. Read the full article here.
22/02/2019 Update to the Gaia DR2 known issues
Today an update to the Gaia DR2 known issues was published discussing Gaia DR2 photometry. We advise you to read through this topic if you use Gaia DR2 photometry.
31/01/2019 Update to Gaia DR2 known issues page on radial velocities
Today on ArXiv a paper appeared by Boubert et al. describing potential contamination of radial velocities in crowded regions. A summary has been added to our Gaia DR2 Known Issues page, along with links to the paper and the accompanying data. The page also describes other topics like astrometry and crossmatches, and complements the Gaia DR2 data release documentation.
29/01/2019 Gaia Data Release 3 split into two parts
The Gaia data processing toward Gaia DR3 is progressing at full speed. Although the schedule has stabilised, there are several uncertainties as many elements of the pipelines will see the real data in an operational environment for the first time. Taking the uncertainties into account brought the schedule of the next release toward the end of the earlier announced period of the first half of 2021.
To mitigate the impact on research, the Gaia DR3 will be split into two releases. This way, data that is ready earlier, will be released earlier. The early release, Gaia EDR3, contains astrometry and (integrated) photometry i.e. positions, parallaxes, proper motions, G-band fluxes as well as integrated red- (RP) and blue-band (BP) fluxes, all based on 34 months of data resulting in better accuracy with respect to Gaia DR2. First results for a predefined list of quasars and extended objects may also be included already in the early release. Gaia EDR3 will take place in Q3 of 2020.
Gaia DR3, which is anticipated to take place during the second half of 2021, will supersede Gaia EDR3. This means that the source list and any data published in Gaia EDR3 will not change, but is simply copied to Gaia DR3. Therefore Gaia DR3 is based on the same 34 months of mission data as for Gaia EDR3. The additional products include:
- radial velocities (significantly more due to fainter magnitude limit),
- BP/RP/RVS spectra (new products),
- Solar system data (significantly more sources included),
- variability information (significantly more objects due to longer time interval),
- results for non-single stars (new products), and
- astrophysical parameters (based on spectra).
The final inclusion of the products into Gaia DR3, as well as Gaia EDR3, is subject to successful validation.
29/12/2018 Movement of tiny galaxies surrounding the Milky Way
19/12/2018 Reward for Gaia and Anthony Brown
Our Gaia DPAC Chair Anthony Brown is recognised by Nature as one of the 10 people who mattered in 2018. This is a special recognition for Anthony, who keeps the Consortium moving forward to get the data from our Gaia mission out to the community. Read the article here
17/12/2018 Video release: the universe of Gaia
Gaia was launched 19 December 2013 and has been scanning the sky ever since. Our second data release, published this April, provided scientists with an extraordinary data set to investigate the formation and evolution history of our Milky Way. Hundreds of scientific studies were performed since, with new papers coming out almost every day.
Video credits: ESA/CNES/Arianespace; ESA/Gaia/DPAC; Gaia Sky / S. Jordan / T. Sagristà; Kppelman, Villalobos and Helmi; Marchetti et al. 2018; NASA/ESA/Hubble; ESO, M. Kornmesser, L. Calçada
14/11/2018 Gaia mission extension approved
Today the ESA Science Programme Committee (SPC) confirmed the Gaia mission extension for mid-2019 to end of 2020 and has given an indicative extension for up to end of 2022. More information can be found here.
02/10/2018: Gaia spots stars flying between galaxies
A team of astronomers using Gaia Data Release 2 looked for high-velocity stars being kicked out of the Milky Way were surprised to find stars instead sprinting inwards – perhaps from another galaxy. Read the story here.
19/09/2018 Gaia hints at our Galaxy's turbulent life
Research using our Gaia DR2 data has shown our Milky Way galaxy is still enduring the effects of a near collision that set millions of stars moving like ripples on a pond. Read the story here.
27/08/2018 Gaia DR2 Known Issues
A new page dedicated to discuss some known issues with the Gaia DR2 data is available here. These cover issues that are important for the users to be aware of but that were only discovered after the release of the data and the documentation. Keep an eye out for the page as newly found issues will be published there when needed.
22/08/2018 Infant exoplanet weighed by Hipparcos and Gaia
An article published in Nature Astronomy discusses the use of Gaia Data Release 2 in combination with Hipparcos data to estimate the mass of the young exoplanet Beta Pictoris b through the astrometric motion of its host star. Read more here.
17/08/2018 A&A special edition on Gaia Data Release 2 out
25/04/2018 Gaia DR2 release day
Today we released our our second batch of data. Many thanks to all the work of the people involved in Gaia!
Information on the papers describing the data processing and the science potential of Gaia DR2 can be found here. Now there are some in-depth stories on the data release are available, as well as a guide to scientists to help you get up to speed with using Gaia DR2.
Many images and stories were released today: Gaia creates richest map of our Galaxy and beyond, Gaia's sky in colour, Gaia's Hertzsprung-Russel diagram, Cosmic scales covered by Gaia's second data release, Large Magellanic Cloud, Small Magellanic Cloud, Gaia's view of more than 14000 asteroids, Gaia's globular clusters and dwarf galaxies, Gaia's globular clusters and dwarf galaxies - with orbits, Gaia's new map of star density, the Galactic sensus takes shape, Rotation of the Large Magellanic Cloud. Many more are expected from the science with Gaia data release 2.
Make sure to watch the 360 degrees Gaia first sky map in colour with your smartphone and Google cardboard!
20/04/2018 Gaia DR2 media kit available now
The media kit for our second Gaia data release is now available. Today also two stories were published on the results from Gaia data release 1. Read about Gaia's surprising discoveries: from the Sun's neighbourhood to the distant universe and Gaia's surprising discoveries: scrutinising the Milky Way.
14/04/2014 Gaia tops 100 billion star transits
Today the Gaia main database indicated that we topped 100 billion star transits through the focal plane. With celebrate this event with a dedicated image of the week. An overview of the total amount of observations taken is available on this page.
05/04/2018 Precise object counts for Gaia Data Release 2
Ever wondered how many sources we will release exactly in Gaia DR2? No need to keep guessing, exact object counts were just released here. More information can also be found in the news item by ESA Science & Technology.
03/04/2018 The cat in Orion...
What do you seen when looking at this week's Space Science Image of the Week? A cat, a fox or even a shark?
21/03/2018 Gaia status update
Last month, ESA's Gaia satellite experienced a technical anomaly followed by a 'safe mode' event. After thorough examination, the spacecraft was successfully recovered and resumed normal scientific operations, while the mission team keeps investigating the exact cause of the anomaly. More information can be found here.
16/03/2018 Latest releases of GOG and GUMS
Gaia Object Generator 18 is now available also in HDF5 through this web page. Also a new version of the Gaia Universe Model Snapshot (GUMS-18) is now available from OBSPM. More information on Gaia tools can be found here.
16/03/2018 Release of the draft Gaia DR2 data model and passbands
To help scientists prepare for our second data release, a draft of the Gaia DR2 data model is provided for download along with some updates on the upcoming release. Available for download as well are our Gaia DR2 passbands. These are featured in our image of the week.
29/11/2017 Visualisation of a selection of asteroids detected by Gaia
Coordination Unit 4 of the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium is responsible for the processing of non-single stars, Solar System objects and extended objects. Gaia Data Release 2 will contain epoch astrometry for more than 13,000 known asteroids. The visualisation of these asteroids as detected by Gaia has just been published by ESA Science & Technology.
17/11/2017 How do you find a star cluster?
On 15 November a story was published on the ESA Science & Technology website called "How do you find a star cluster? Easy, simply count the stars". A story on the discovery of the first Gaia cluster: Gaia 1.
02/10/2017 Extra stars to help out the Triton occultation campaign
In order to facilitate earlier conducted Triton campaigns from September, we provide preliminary astrometry for an additional 334 stars available for download through the links below:
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:
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 1Exactly one year ago, we released our first data. Since the release, more than 170 refereed science papers used the Gaia DR1 data so far. If you are interested to check out any publications on Gaia, please have a look here.
31/08/2017 Press releases on close stellar encounters
30/08/2017 Interview with Lennart Lindegren kicking off the Gaia Science Meeting in Lund.
Today a three-day meeting called "The science of Gaia and future challenges" kicks off in Lund, Sweden. Home of the Lund Observatory, an institute involved in the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC). The meeting also coincides with the retirement of Lennart Lindegren, one of Gaia's important faces. Here is in interview with him to start off this meeting with some in-depth knowledge on Gaia's history and Lennart's role in all of this. Thank you, Lennart, for your huge contribution to the Gaia mission and we are happy you will keep on working with us!
30/06/2017 Asteroid Day
On Asteroid Day we would like to draw your attention to the Gaia Follow-Up Network for Solar System Objects (FUN-SSO). About 600 potential discoveries of Solar System Objects have been reported up till now. Anyone at the right place on Earth at the right time with the right size of telescope can help confirm these potential discoveries. A list of active alerts can be found here.
If you subscribe to the network, you can enter your location and telescope details. There is an active call at the moment for following-up on a candidate! Grab your chance and be the first to confirm!
23/06/2017 Two Arthur C. Clarke Awards for Gaia teams
We are proud to announce that our Gaia teams won two Arthur C. Clarke awards, also known as Arthurs. The Industry/Project Team award went to Airbus Defence and Space "For the successful design and manufacture of the Gaia spacecraft and telescope which for the last 3 years has been accurately measuring the location and motion of the stars”.
The second award was given to the UK Gaia Science Team. They won the Space Achievement - Academic Study/Research award "For its role in processing and analysing data from the Gaia star mapping mission as its contribution to the European Data Processing and Analysis Consortium”.
This latter award was presented by UK/ESA Astronaut Tim Peake to Gerry Gilmore (UK Gaia PI), Martin Barstow and Simon Hodgkin, who received it on behalf of the wider UK team. The award is made of glass, and is based on the monolith in Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, with the same proportions (1:4:9).
09/06/2017 Future of the Orion constellation
A new video on the future of the Orion constellation was just released by ESA Science & Technology. It shows the movement of the stars in the sky for the coming 450,000 years, based on TGAS data. This a subset of Gaia DR1 consisting of those stars in the Hipparcos and Tycho-2 Catalogues for which a full 5-parameter astrometric solution is available.
In April another video was published showing the movement of the stars in the entire sky.