Gaia news portal

The news in this bulletin board is compiled from various sources across the world wide web.

The commissioning of Gaia came to its formal end on 18 July 2014 when the board members of the mission in-orbit commissioning review (MIOCR) confirmed the readiness of the space and ground segments to start routine operations. The review summarised the commissioning activities both on ground and in orbit. New scientific performance estimates have been calculated since using in-orbit commissioning data. more
The Radial Velocity Spectrometer (RVS) is one of three instruments onboard Gaia (see Figure 1). It is designed to measure the line-of-sight velocity component of Gaia stars (radial velocity, RV) to complement Gaia astrometry, which measures the transverse velocity component (parallax converts proper motions to transverse velocity). Combining the radial and transverse velocities gives the 3D space velocity of Gaia stars, allowing Gaia to produce not only a map of where Gaia stars are but how they are moving.
A series of exhaustive tests have been conducted over the past few months to characterise some anomalies that have been revealed during the commissioning of Gaia following its successful launch in December 2013. more
ESA's billion-star surveyor Gaia is slowly being brought into focus. This test image shows a dense cluster of stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud, a satellite galaxy of our Milky Way. Once Gaia starts making routine measurements, it will generate truly enormous amounts of data. To maximise the key science of the mission, only small 'cut-outs' centred on each of the stars it detects will be sent back to Earth for analysis. more
ESA’s Gaia mission blasted off this morning on a Soyuz rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, on its exciting mission to study a billion suns. Gaia is destined to create the most accurate map yet of the Milky Way. By making accurate measurements of the positions and motions of 1% of the total population of roughly 100 billion stars, it will answer questions about the origin and evolution of our home Galaxy. more
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