News 2015

18/11/2015 Vacancy: Young Graduate Trainee opportunities in Gaia for 2016

ESA is offering two one-year training contracts to recent graduates to work in the areas of astrophysics/astrometry and spacecraft operations. The successful astrophysics/astrometry applicant will be based at ESTEC (The Netherlands) and will work in the Gaia Project Scientist Support Team. The spacecraft operations applicant will work at ESOC (Germany). An overview of the Young Graduate Trainee programme is available online. The full list of training opportunities is available here. The deadline for applications is 15 December 2015.

16/11/2015 The First Gaia Intermediate Data Release

The contents of the first Gaia Intermediate Data Release have been announced today at the Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) plenary meeting. The intended release has three elements: 1) The sky positions and broad-band magnitudes of objects with single-star and good astrometric behaviour, 2) Photometric data of selected RR Lyrae and Cepheids from the high-cadence Ecliptic Pole Scanning law period, and 3) Astrometric parameters (positions, parallaxes and proper motions) based on the Tycho-Gaia Astrometric Solution (TGAS; A&A paper) for some 2 million objects in common between the Tycho-2 catalogue and Gaia. The production run for these three elements is underway and is expected to be completed in early 2016. At that point in time a more precise release date will be decided and a validation exercise is started. Only successfully validated data will be released. Updates to the process, schedule and/or contents will be reported on the Data Release Scenario pages.
12/10/2015 Vacancy: 2016 ESTEC student placements

In 2016, ESA will offer students a wide range of work placement options again. The deadline for applications for an ESTEC placement is 31 October 2015. Candidates interested in working with the Gaia project scientist team can contact the Gaia helpdesk for advice and further information. Information about the selection process and the terms and conditions is available on the ESA Careers page.

02/09/2015 Vacancy: ESA Research Fellowships in Space Science

ESA has announced an opportunity for post-doctoral research fellowships linked to its science missions, including Gaia. Applications can be submitted until 1 October 2015. More details, including the detailed vacancies, can be found here. Addtional information is provided on the Research Fellowship website.

25/08/2015 Gaia's first year of scientific observations

On Friday, 21 August, Gaia completed its first year of science observations in its main survey mode. Since the start of its routine phase, the satellite recorded 272 billion positional or astrometric measurements, 54.4 billion brightness or photometric data points, and 5.4 billion spectra. Read the full article here.

13/08/2015 Vacancy: Post-doc/engineer position at Paris Observatory

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

08/08/2015 Tycho-Gaia Astrometric Solution

Trial astrometric solutions are made continuously to adjust software for Gaia's in-orbit data. The current level of understanding and removing instrumental effects is shown in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram on the latest Gaia news page based on a Tycho-Gaia Astrometric Solution.

16/07/2015 Vacancy: Project Lead Researcher at the University of Leicester

A project lead researcher is required and will be part of a wider team at the University of Leicester (UoL). The primary purpose of the position is to lead the project, coordinated with activities in Edinburgh and Cambridge, into predictive and efficient CTI models that can be incorporated within the Gaia data processing pipeline. The UoL is a member of the pan-European Gaia Data Analysis and Processing Consortium (DPAC) that has responsibility for processing Gaia's data with the ultimate aim of producing the Gaia catalogue. The closing date for this post is midnight on 16 August 2015. Click here and search on the reference number SEN00649 for more information and to apply.

05/06/2015 Gaia movie - impressions from the AGIS meeting in Heidelberg

A new DPAC outreach video, including interviews with Lennart Lindegren, Uwe Lammers, and Ulrich Bastian, is now available on YouTube. Producers Klaus Jäger and Stefan Jordan use footage from the AGIS meeting in Heidelberg to explain the Gaia mission and its goals. For more information, visit the DPAC Outreach page.

21/05/2015 Vacancy: Postdoc position - asteroid observations in the Gaia era

The Laboratory Lagrange at the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (Nice, France) calls for applications for a PostDoctoral Fellowship funded by the French Space Agency (CNES), in the field of solar system science connected to Gaia. The position is for one year, renewable once. The Postdoctoral Fellow will contribute to projects that explore data on Solar System objects produced by the Gaia mission, and the use of Gaia astrometry for the exploitation of Earth-based techniques, e.g stellar occultations, to investigate asteroid physical properties. Qualifications: candidates will be ranked according to their achievements in their doctoral research, record of referreed publications and independent research abilities. The applicants must have earned a PhD degree in physics/astrophysics, with a solid background in observational and numerical approaches, good interpersonal skills and some experience in working within collaborative environments. Target start date: 1 November 2015, negotiable. Deadline for applications: 1 July 2015.

15/04/2015 GBOT embarks on asteroid finding programme

Using telescopes on Earth, Gaia's Ground Based Optical Tracking campaign (GBOT) has been delivering daily datasets, which are used to determine the satellite's position, since launch. Making use of data that are generated for its primary purpose, the tracking of Gaia, the campaign has now found an additional science application: the detection of asteroids. Using the astrometric pipeline, several tens of known and unknown asteroids are being detected every night. Find out more about the asteroid programme here.

24/03/2015: Gaia engineering data release for Cosmic Ray studies

The radiation environment at L2 is of great interest to current and future space missions with operational orbits around the Sun-Earth Lagrange point. End-of-Life performance and transient events on the semiconductor imaging detectors are based on models that need to be correlated to real data. Transient events in the form of cosmic ray trails recorded on the Gaia Focal Plane CCDs may support these studies and a small initial engineering data release has been prepared for this purpose. The complete data set covering data acquisitions from May 2014 to January 2015 and the corresponding technical note are available for download here. A preliminary analysis on radiation effects including cosmic ray events on the Gaia CCDs has been done in a SPIE paper.

04/02/2015: Vacancy: Research fellow at Lohrmann Observatory, TU Dresden

Lohrmann Observatory invites applications for the position of Research Fellow to work in the field of astrometric solution for Gaia. The position is funded until 31 December 2017 and should be filled as soon as possible. Depending on the qualification and personal interests of the candidate, the work can be focused either on the physical and mathematical aspects of the data processing (including tests of fundamental physics) or on software development. The evaluation of the applications will start on 11 March 2015, but later applications will be considered until a suitable candidate is identified. Click here for more information.