Astrophysics (Index)About


(2010s astrometry survey satellite)

Gaia is an European Space Agency space observatory designed to map over a billion stars and other astronomical objects using astrometry along with some photometry and spectrography. It has two 1.45 × 0.5 meter telescopes viewing the optical range as well as very near infrared. It was launched in 2013 for a five year mission at the L2 Earth-Sun Lagrangian point 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 of 100,000 stars in four open clusters using Gaia astrometric data and 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 produce 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:
European Space Agency (ESA)
Full-sky Astrometric Mapping Explorer (FAME)
International Celestial Reference System (ICRS)
Lagrangian point
Radcliffe wave
stellar stream
USNO Twin Astrograph
young stellar object (YSO)