Astrophysics (Index)About


(2010s astrometry survey satellite)

Gaia is an European Space Agency space observatory currently mapping stars and other astronomical objects carrying out astrometry along with some photometry and spectrography. As per design, it has mapped and is tracking over a billion stars. It has two 1.45 × 0.5 meter telescopes viewing the optical to very near infrared range. It is deployed at the L2 Earth-Sun Lagrangian point. It was launched in 2013 for a five year mission which has been extended to 2022. Instruments:

A resulting catalog was released as Gaia Data Release 1 (Gaia DR1) in 2016 and then Gaia Data Release 2 (Gaia DR2) in 2018. Data includes coordinates over time, yielding parallax distances and proper motion, useful, e.g., for identifying stellar associations, and for determining mass when visual binaries are resolved.

The Gaia-ESO Survey (GES) is a survey conducted with Gaia and European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope (ESO VLT) of 100,000 stars within four open clusters, using Gaia astrometric data along with spectroscopy using a VLT multi-object spectrograph.

Gaia's instruments slightly polarize the light, which must be taken into account in interpreting its astrometry. This also creates the opportunity to extract some polarization data for Gaia's billion-plus target stars by reverse-engineering the effects of the instruments on received polarized light.

(telescope,reflector,spacecraft,visible light,infrared,ESA,survey,stars,astrometry,L2,all sky)
Further reading:
GaiaGaia 1star cluster

Referenced by pages:
Cygnus Loop
European Space Agency (ESA)
Full-sky Astrometric Mapping Explorer (FAME)
Gaia Celestial Reference Frame (Gaia-CRF2)
H3 Survey (H3)
International Celestial Reference System (ICRS)
stellar overdensity
Radcliffe wave
supernova survey
stellar distance determination
stellar stream
USNO Twin Astrograph
young stellar object (YSO)