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GAIA News


Dec 03, 2020 SSDC contribution to Gaia EDR3

On December 3th the Gaia collaboration has released its Gaia Early Data Release 3 catalogue.
Gaia Data Release 3 is split in two parts: the early release called Gaia Early Data Release 3 (Gaia EDR3) and the full Gaia Data Release 3 (Gaia DR3), planned for the first half of 2022.
Gaia DR3 data (both Gaia EDR3 and the full Gaia DR3) are based on data collected between 25 July 2014 and 28 May 2017, spanning a period of 34 months. As a comparison, Gaia DR2 was based on 22 months of data and Gaia DR1 was based on observations collected during the first 14 months of Gaia's routine operational phase. Gaia EDR3 catalogue contains more than 1.8 billions stars.
SSDC is one of the four ESA partner data centers for the publication and dissemination of Gaia data releases. SSDC has thus designed, developed, and made publicly available an access point to the Gaia and cross-matched external catalogues data: the GaiaPortal. SSDC is continuing to develop access, data extraction and multi-wavelength cross-match tools to enable the astronomical community to handle and fully exploit the scientific potential of this enormous archive.
In addition, SSDC is responsible for the calculation of the official cross-match of the Gaia catalogue with the largest public available optical and near-IR catalogues ensuring an all-sky, panchromatic vision of the universe.



Jan 17, 2014 Gaia's first star!

After a successful second insertion manoeuvre, Gaia has arrived at its operational 180 day-long Lissajous orbit around L2, 1.5 million Km from Earth. Nice trip Gaia!
Everything is going quite well. The picture (below) shows the first public Gaia data: an image of Sadalmelik, a yellow supergiant star in Aquarius.


source: https://twitter.com/ESAGaia/status/423457053856636929/photo/1

The commissioning phase has begun: the next few days will be dedicated to calibration activities on the Basic Angle Monitoring and the Wavefront Sensor devices. Later on the Gaia telescopes will be aligned and focused.

Dec 19, 2013 Gaia launched!

On 19 December 2013 09:12 GMT (10:12 CET) Gaia lifted off on a Soyuz rocket from the ESA Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, and is now travelling to L2. Up there 1 billion stars (in the Galaxy and beyond) wait to be observed by the satellite and their brightness, positions, motion, distance and astrophysical characteristics to be measured, to produce the richest 3D map of the sky ever realized.
We are eager to see the expected and, even more, the unexpected results that Gaia will produce.

Gaia will provide the detailed 3D distributions and space motions of a billion stars, brighter than 20th magnitude. The astrometric precision, reaching a few millionths of an arcsecond, will be unprecedented. This will allow our Galaxy to be mapped, for the first time, in three dimensions. Ten million stars will be measured with a distance accuracy of better than 1 percent and a 150 million to better than 10 percent. Compared to Hipparcos, Gaia will improve parallax and proper-motion accuracy by almost 100 times and the number of stars observed by 10 000 times. In addition it will measure radial velocities and spectrophotometry for the sources. Gaia will survey a vast population of solar system bodies (major planets, natural satellites, comets, and asteroids, including several thousands of near-Earth objects) and extragalactic objects (half a million quasars and thousands of supernovae). In addressing all these fields, Gaia will cover a significant part of modern astrophysics.

The Gaia catalogue will be one of the largest and richest astronomical catalogue ever realized.
The ASDC (ASI Science Data Center) coordinates the Italian contribution to DPAC-CU9, the coordination unit responsible for the realization of the Catalogue and for the release of the Gaia data. In the framework of a wide international collaboration, ASDC will host a copy of the Gaia catalogue and will contribute to CU9 activities. ASDC is responsible in CU9 for the cross-match of the Gaia catalogue with the largest public available optical and near-IR catalogues, as well as several other catalogues from radio to gamma-ray, ensuring an all-sky, multi-wavelength and multi-color vision of the Galaxy. In addition, ASDC is developing access and data mining tools to enable the astronomical community to handle and fully exploit the scientific potential of this enormous archive.

In addition, ASDC is building the archive and database which will host the Gaia ancillary data obtained by the Italian teams involved in the project. This archive will include the measurements, observations and simulations needed for the absolute calibration of the Gaia spectro-photometric data. The archive is helping the work of the calibration team and will then be public.

Finally ASDC is involved in DPAC-CU5 (responsible for the spectro-photometric data analysis and reduction) activities, namely the realization of the crowded fields analysis software and the data reduction of the photometric data needed for the validation of the Gaia spectro-photometric standards.

ASI press release : http://www.asi.it/it/news/al_via_la_missione_gaia
INAF press release : http://www.media.inaf.it/2013/12/19/gaia-appuntamento-con-la-storia/
ESA press release : http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Space_Science/Gaia/Liftoff_for_ESA_s_billion-star_surveyor