Lund Observatory

department of Astronomy and Theoretical Physics

Gaia astrometry

Gaia - The Galactic Census Project:

The galactic astrophysics mission Gaia, was launched by the European Space Agency in December 2013. From its position beyond the lunar orbit, it surveys the stellar content of a large part of the Milky Way Galaxy, with the ultimate goal to trace the origin and evolution of our galaxy and understand its present structure.

The satellite is a unique and powerful optical space observatory, combining large-scale photometric and radial-velocity surveys with determinations of stellar distances and transverse motions through microarcsecond astrometry for more than a billion stars brighter than V = 20. Parallax and proper motion accuracies are such that the space densities and kinematics of common tracer stars (e.g. K giants) can be accurately mapped across the whole Galaxy.

For more information on the mission and its current status, please refer to the main science portal for Gaia.

Space astrometry at Lund Observatory

New: Technical notes on Hipparcos and Gaia (1976-)

During more than two decades, researchers at Lund Observatory participated in the ESA space astrometry mission Hipparcos, first in the planning and execution of the science data reductions, and then in the utilization of the space data in stellar and galactic research. Since 1995 we are strongly involved in the galactic census project Gaia, a cornerstone mission within the ESA science programme, launched in December 2013 and in nominal operation since July 2014.

Until his retirement in June 2017, the space astrometry group was led by Lennart Lindegren, who is also a member of the Gaia Science Team (GST) appointed by the European Space Agency. The current senior members of the space astrometry team in Lund are Dr. David Hobbs and Dr. Paul McMillan Within the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) the team in Lund collaborates with specialists at ESAC in Madrid to implement the astrometric core solution, the so-called Astrometric Global Iterative Solution (AGIS), and tools to exploit the scientific results of Gaia. Other associated and formal members of the Lund space astrometry group are listed below.

This research programme is supported since many years by the Swedish National Space Board (current project title: Astrophysical space research using Gaia), and during 1998-2003 by the Swedish Research Council (Stellar multiplicity: Origin and evolution; Statistics and dynamics).

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