News 2021

21/12/2021 Gaia Catalogue of Nearby Stars in the Gaia Archive

The Gaia Catalogue of Nearby Stars is now available from the Gaia Archive. It can be found in the category "other" where also external catalogues to be used in combination with Gaia data can be found.


14/12/2021 Call for a medium-size and Fast mission opportunity in ESA's Science Programme

The ESA Director of Science solicits the scientific community in ESA's Member States for proposals for both a "Fast" mission opportunity (to be launched in the 2030-2031 timeframe) and for a Medium mission opportunity (to be launched around 2037). The new long-term scientific plan - Voyage 2050 - for the Science Programme of the European Space Agency (ESA), has been issued in June 2021, following a broad consultation of the scientific community and a peer review process, with final recommendations issued by an independent scientific Senior Committee. The plan includes three Large (L) missions in selected science themes (Moons of the Giant Planets, From Temperate Exoplanets to the Milky Way, and New Physical Probes of the Early Universe) and a set of Medium (M) and Fast (F) missions. The definition of the F and M space missions is based on a competitive, peer-reviewed selection process. Even though the Voyage 2050 plan identifies a set of possible themes for the Medium missions, proposals in all fields of space science will be considered, with no prejudice.

Full details can be found at this Cosmos website.


14/12/2021 Call for membership in the expert committee for the Large mission covering the science theme "Moons of the Giant Planets"

The Director of Science at the European Space Agency (ESA) has issued a Call for Membership in the Expert Committee for the Large mission covering the science theme “Moons of the Giant Planets” that will support the initial definition of space mission concepts to fulfil the goals set for the “Moons of the Giant Planets” science theme.  This is the first scientific theme identified in the new long-term scientific plan (Voyage 2050) for the ESA Science Programme for the large mission following Athena and LISA. “Moons of the Giant Planets” addresses issues such as habitability, biosignatures, prebiotic chemistry, etc., to be implemented through a planetary probe to one of the moons of either Jupiter or Saturn. Full details can be found at:


30/11/2021 Dimitri Pourbaix obituary

On 14 November 2021, Dimitri Pourbaix passed away. An obituary has been put up for Dimitri Pourbaix and can be found here.


24/11/2021 Gaia's latest story

A story on was published today: Gaia reveals that most Milky Way companion galaxies are newcomers to our corner of space.


24/11/2021 Planned maintenance to Gaia Archive

The Gaia Archive will be down for maintenance on 1 December between 10:00 and 13:00 CET. Apologies for the inconvenience.


19/11/2021 With sadness we announce the passing away of Dimitri Pourbaix

It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing away of Dimitri Pourbaix on 14 November 2021. Since 2006, he was leading the Belgian participation in the Gaia data processing and analysis consortium, was member of the Gaia DPAC executive and mostly dedicated to the management of the Coordination Unit CU4. He will never see the publication of the long-awaited catalogue of binary stars for Gaia DR3, that he has so much contributed to, resolving in particular the orbits of astrometric binaries.

An online condolence register has been made available by the Institut d'Astronomie et d'Astrophysique (Université Libre de Bruxelles) for anyone who wishes to post a condolence message.


09/11/2021 Post-doctoral position in Gaia DPAC Coordination Unit 4 to adequately process resolved binaries

There is an opening for a post-doctoral position to work within Gaia DPAC (Data Processing and Analysis Consortium) to adequately process resolved binaries.  The Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) is a consortium of over 400 scientists and software engineers who are processing the data that arrives from ESA's Gaia spacecraft. More information can be found here.


28/10/2021 Gaia Newsletter #17

Today, a new compilation of news and updates on the Gaia mission and its data releases has been published in the Gaia Newsletter #17.


28/10/2021 ESA Archival Research visitor programme

To increase the scientific return from its space science missions, the European Space Agency (ESA) welcomes applications from scientists interested in pursuing research projects based on data publicly available in the ESA Space Science Archives.

The ESA Archival Research Visitor Programme is open to scientists at all career levels, affiliated with institutes in ESA Member States and Collaborating States. Early-career scientists (within 10 yeras of the PhD) are particularly encouraged to apply. Applications by PhD students are also welcome.

During their stay, visiting scientists will have access to archives and mission specialists for help with the retrieval, calibration, and analysis of archival data. In principle, all areas of space research covered by ESA science missions can be supported.

Residence lasts typically between one and three months, also distributed over multiple visits. Research projects can be carriedout at ESAC (Madrid, Spain) aand at ESTEC (Noordwijk, The Netherlands). To offset the expenses incurred by visitors, ESA covers travel costs from and to the home institution and provides support for lodging expenses and meals.

Applications received before 3 November 2021 will be considered for visits in spring/summer 2022.

For further details, please refer to the visitor programme webpages.


28/10/2021 Extended downtime of the Gaia Archive

Following the maintenance period to ESA servers planned on Saturday 30 October, the Gaia Archive will be down for an extended period, starting on Friday 29 October and lasting until Tuesday 2 November. The teams involved are doing their best to bring servers up earlier, but this cannot be guaranteed.


28/10/2021 Extended downtime for the Gaia Observation Forecast Tool

Following the maintenance period to ESA servers, the Gaia Observation Forecast Tool is expected to be offline between Friday 29 October 15:30 CEST until Tuesday 2 November 10:30 CET.


25/10/2021 Maintenance period to ESA servers planned

On Saturday 30 October 2021 a maintenance period to ESA servers is planned between 08:00 and 22:00 CEST. Sunday 31 October, any issues appearing will be fixed, so the service might be interrupted from time to time on this day as well.

In practice this means that the following services will be down: the Gaia Archive, all Gaia servers provided through the Gaia team at ESAC and all Gaia DPAC services (except for the content server, certain FTPs and the Gaia Cosmos web portals) will be down.


14/10/2021 Gaia Archive upgrade

On Monday 18 October, the Gaia Archive will be down for maintenance between 10:00 and 13:00 CEST, which will allow to upgrade the Gaia Archive to version 2.13. More information on the new release will become available from the release notes after the Gaia Archive comes back online.


14/10/2021 Updates to the Gaia DR3 pages

Find an extended summary of the contents expected for Gaia Data Release 3 here. The overview page for Gaia Data Release 3 is online as well and will, similar to the overview pages for other releases, lead you to the main information for the release. Both pages will receive updates from time to time, when more information on the release becomes available. Be sure to check them from time to time for the most up to date information on Gaia DR3.


23/09/2021 Gaia's latest newsletter is out

Gaia newsletter issue 16 has been sent out. Gaia newsletter provide you with a compilation of the news over a past period, to ensure you do not miss out on updates on our Gaia data releases, and on stories and news that were published on Gaia Cosmos.


23/09/2021 Vacancy for a postdoc in the GaiaUnlimited Project

A vacancy for a post-doctoral research position opens up at the University of Torino in Italy to work on the GaiaUnlimited Project. More information on this position can be found from the Torino website. Deadline for the application is 1 November 2021.


30/08/2021 Vacancies for Research Fellowships in Space Science

Today the opportunities for Research Fellowships in Space Science were announced at the ESA Careers website. Approximately 12 ESA Fellowships will be offered this year in Space Science. Deadline for applications is 27 September 2021. Check out the opportunities!


25/08/2021 Gravitational Waves and the GaiaX Alert stream experiment

Interested in Gravitational Waves? Gaia intends to help out with the follow up of the Gravitational Wave triggers. An experiment with a dedicated GaiaX Alert stream will be started on 1 September 2021 and last four weeks. Find the full news item with all details here.


19/07/2021 Gaia symposium at the EAS meeting

At the EAS meeting in June an extensive preview of Gaia Data Release 3 was given at the Gaia symposium. Slides of the presentations given at this symposium can be found here.


12/07/2021 Maintenance to FTPs

On Tuesday 13 July between 08:00 and 09:00 CEST maintenance is planned to our Gaia FTPs. Both DPAC FTPs and the Gaia_Public_Data FTP containing the auxiliary data are affected.


12/07/2021 Star Clusters: the Gaia Revolution

On 5-7 October 2021, the EU Cost Action MW-Gaia will organise the online workshop: "Star Clusters: the Gaia revolution". The joint WG1/WG2 workshop will cover various topics such as stellar association, open clusters in the Milky Way disc, globular clusters and streams in the halo, as well as synergies between Gaia and other missions and observational campaign. Registration and abstract submission are open now. More information on this workshop can be found from the conference website.


28/06/2021 Gaia collection at the ESA space on demand shop

From today a collection inspired on Gaia can be found from the ESA space on demand shop. As the Gaia Symposium kicks off at the virtual EAS 2021 meeting, all stargazers are invited to check out the stellar designs inspired by Gaia data. There is a shop-wide 15% discount until 30 June!


28/06/2021 European Astronomical Society's annual meeting kicks off

Today the EAS annual meeting kicks off. When interested in science with Gaia Early Data Release 3 and a look ahead towards Gaia's full Data Release 3, check out Symposium 15.


15/06/2021 Gaia EDR3 extinction law

A set of coefficients which allow the computation of the Gaia EDR3 extinction law is provided here along with information on the computation.


11/06/2021 Gaia EDR3 known issue on G-band corrections

A new known issue with a clarification on the G-band corrections for Gaia Early Data Release 3 has been published today. A corrigendum to the Gaia EDR3 main release paper can be found from the Gaia EDR3 papers page as well.


08/06/2021 Postdoctoral position at the Astrophysical Observatory of Turin

A 2 + 1 year postdoc at the Astrophysical Observatory of Turin is available for someone interested to become part of the GaiaUnlimited project, a project which aims to develop the Gaia survey selection function. More information can be found here.


20/05/2021 Downtime of some DPAC services has been fixed now

An unexpected downtime affected some of our DPAC services. The issue is fixed now and DPAC services can be reached again. Some emails to DPAC mailing lists might have been delayed.


21/04/2021 Postdoctoral research position in Heidelberg

Postdoctoral research position open on Gaia data analysis at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg. More info here.


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.