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See detailA test field for Gaia. Radial velocity catalogue of stars in the South Ecliptic Pole
Frémat, Y.; Altmann, M.; Pancino, E. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 597

Context. Gaia is a space mission that is currently measuring the five astrometric parameters, as well as spectrophotometry of at least 1 billion stars to G = 20.7 mag with unprecedented precision. The ... [more ▼]

Context. Gaia is a space mission that is currently measuring the five astrometric parameters, as well as spectrophotometry of at least 1 billion stars to G = 20.7 mag with unprecedented precision. The sixth parameter in phase space (i.e., radial velocity) is also measured thanks to medium-resolution spectroscopy that is being obtained for the 150 million brightest stars. During the commissioning phase, two fields, one around each ecliptic pole, have been repeatedly observed to assess and to improve the overall satellite performances, as well as the associated reduction and analysis software. A ground-based photometric and spectroscopic survey was therefore initiated in 2007, and is still running to gather as much information as possible about the stars in these fields. This work is of particular interest to the validation of the radial velocity spectrometer outputs. <BR /> Aims: The paper presents the radial velocity measurements performed for the Southern targets in the 12-17 R magnitude range on high- to mid-resolution spectra obtained with the GIRAFFE and UVES spectrographs. <BR /> Methods: Comparison of the South Ecliptic Pole (SEP) GIRAFFE data to spectroscopic templates observed with the HERMES (Mercator in La Palma, Spain) spectrograph enabled a first coarse characterisation of the 747 SEP targets. Radial velocities were then obtained by comparing the results of three different methods. <BR /> Results: In this paper, we present an initial overview of the targets to be found in the 1 sq. deg SEP region that was observed repeatedly by Gaia ever since its commissioning. In our representative sample, we identified one galaxy, six LMC S-stars, nine candidate chromospherically active stars, and confirmed the status of 18 LMC Carbon stars. A careful study of the 3471 epoch radial velocity measurements led us to identify 145 RV constant stars with radial velocities varying by less than 1 km s[SUP]-1[/SUP]. Seventy-eight stars show significant RV scatter, while nine stars show a composite spectrum. As expected, the distribution of the RVs exhibits two main peaks that correspond to Galactic and LMC stars. By combining [Fe/H] and log g estimates, and RV determinations, we identified 203 members of the LMC, while 51 more stars are candidate members. <BR /> Conclusions: This is the first systematic spectroscopic characterisation of faint stars located in the SEP field. During the coming years, we plan to continue our survey and gather additional high- and mid-resolution data to better constrain our knowledge on key reference targets for Gaia. Tables 1-3, 5, 7, and 8 are only available at the CDS via anonym- ous ftp to <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr</A> (<A href="http://130.79.128.5">http://130.79.128.5</A>) or via <A href="http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/597/A10">http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/597/A10</A>Based on data taken with the VLT-UT2 of the European Southern Observatory, programmes 084.D-0427(A), 086.D-0295(A), and 088.D-0305(A).Based on data obtained from the ESO Science Archive Facility under request number 84886.Based on data obtained with the HERMES spectrograph, installed at the Mercator Telescope, operated on the island of La Palma by the Flemish Community, at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias and supported by the Fund for Scientific Research of Flanders (FWO), Belgium, the Research Council of KU Leuven, Belgium, the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (F.R.S.-FNRS), Belgium, the Royal Observatory of Belgium, the Observatoire de Genève, Switzerland and the Thüringer Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Germany. [less ▲]

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See detailGaia Data Release 1. Summary of the astrometric, photometric, and survey properties
Gaia Collaboration; Brown, A. G. A.; Vallenari, A. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 595

Context. At about 1000 days after the launch of Gaia we present the first Gaia data release, Gaia DR1, consisting of astrometry and photometry for over 1 billion sources brighter than magnitude 20.7. <BR ... [more ▼]

Context. At about 1000 days after the launch of Gaia we present the first Gaia data release, Gaia DR1, consisting of astrometry and photometry for over 1 billion sources brighter than magnitude 20.7. <BR /> Aims: A summary of Gaia DR1 is presented along with illustrations of the scientific quality of the data, followed by a discussion of the limitations due to the preliminary nature of this release. <BR /> Methods: The raw data collected by Gaia during the first 14 months of the mission have been processed by the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) and turned into an astrometric and photometric catalogue. <BR /> Results: Gaia DR1 consists of three components: a primary astrometric data set which contains the positions, parallaxes, and mean proper motions for about 2 million of the brightest stars in common with the Hipparcos and Tycho-2 catalogues - a realisation of the Tycho-Gaia Astrometric Solution (TGAS) - and a secondary astrometric data set containing the positions for an additional 1.1 billion sources. The second component is the photometric data set, consisting of mean G-band magnitudes for all sources. The G-band light curves and the characteristics of 3000 Cepheid and RR Lyrae stars, observed at high cadence around the south ecliptic pole, form the third component. For the primary astrometric data set the typical uncertainty is about 0.3 mas for the positions and parallaxes, and about 1 mas yr[SUP]-1[/SUP] for the proper motions. A systematic component of 0.3 mas should be added to the parallax uncertainties. For the subset of 94 000 Hipparcos stars in the primary data set, the proper motions are much more precise at about 0.06 mas yr[SUP]-1[/SUP]. For the secondary astrometric data set, the typical uncertainty of the positions is 10 mas. The median uncertainties on the mean G-band magnitudes range from the mmag level to 0.03 mag over the magnitude range 5 to 20.7. <BR /> Conclusions: Gaia DR1 is an important milestone ahead of the next Gaia data release, which will feature five-parameter astrometry for all sources. Extensive validation shows that Gaia DR1 represents a major advance in the mapping of the heavens and the availability of basic stellar data that underpin observational astrophysics. Nevertheless, the very preliminary nature of this first Gaia data release does lead to a number of important limitations to the data quality which should be carefully considered before drawing conclusions from the data. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Gaia mission
Gaia Collaboration; Prusti, T.; de Bruijne, J. H. J. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2016), 595

Gaia is a cornerstone mission in the science programme of the EuropeanSpace Agency (ESA). The spacecraft construction was approved in 2006, following a study in which the original interferometric concept ... [more ▼]

Gaia is a cornerstone mission in the science programme of the EuropeanSpace Agency (ESA). The spacecraft construction was approved in 2006, following a study in which the original interferometric concept was changed to a direct-imaging approach. Both the spacecraft and the payload were built by European industry. The involvement of the scientific community focusses on data processing for which the international Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) was selected in 2007. Gaia was launched on 19 December 2013 and arrived at its operating point, the second Lagrange point of the Sun-Earth-Moon system, a few weeks later. The commissioning of the spacecraft and payload was completed on 19 July 2014. The nominal five-year mission started with four weeks of special, ecliptic-pole scanning and subsequently transferred into full-sky scanning mode. We recall the scientific goals of Gaia and give a description of the as-built spacecraft that is currently (mid-2016) being operated to achieve these goals. We pay special attention to the payload module, the performance of which is closely related to the scientific performance of the mission. We provide a summary of the commissioning activities and findings, followed by a description of the routine operational mode. We summarise scientific performance estimates on the basis of in-orbit operations. Several intermediate Gaia data releases are planned and the data can be retrieved from the Gaia Archive, which is available through the Gaia home page. <A href="http://www.cosmos.esa.int/gaia">http://www.cosmos.esa.int/gaia</A> [less ▲]

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See detailThe Gaia-ESO Survey: The analysis of high-resolution UVES spectra of FGK-type stars
Smiljanic, R.; Korn, A. J.; Bergemann, M. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014), 570

Context. The ongoing Gaia-ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey is using FLAMES at the VLT to obtain high-quality medium-resolution Giraffe spectra for about 10[SUP]5[/SUP] stars and high-resolution UVES ... [more ▼]

Context. The ongoing Gaia-ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey is using FLAMES at the VLT to obtain high-quality medium-resolution Giraffe spectra for about 10[SUP]5[/SUP] stars and high-resolution UVES spectra for about 5000 stars. With UVES, the Survey has already observed 1447 FGK-type stars. <BR /> Aims: These UVES spectra are analyzed in parallel by several state-of-the-art methodologies. Our aim is to present how these analyses were implemented, to discuss their results, and to describe how a final recommended parameter scale is defined. We also discuss the precision (method-to-method dispersion) and accuracy (biases with respect to the reference values) of the final parameters. These results are part of the Gaia-ESO second internal release and will be part of its first public release of advanced data products. Methods: The final parameter scale is tied to the scale defined by the Gaia benchmark stars, a set of stars with fundamental atmospheric parameters. In addition, a set of open and globular clusters is used to evaluate the physical soundness of the results. Each of the implemented methodologies is judged against the benchmark stars to define weights in three different regions of the parameter space. The final recommended results are the weighted medians of those from the individual methods. Results: The recommended results successfully reproduce the atmospheric parameters of the benchmark stars and the expected T[SUB]eff[/SUB]-log g relation of the calibrating clusters. Atmospheric parameters and abundances have been determined for 1301 FGK-type stars observed with UVES. The median of the method-to-method dispersion of the atmospheric parameters is 55 K for T[SUB]eff[/SUB], 0.13 dex for log g and 0.07 dex for [Fe/H]. Systematic biases are estimated to be between 50-100 K for T[SUB]eff[/SUB], 0.10-0.25 dex for log g and 0.05-0.10 dex for [Fe/H]. Abundances for 24 elements were derived: C, N, O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, Zn, Y, Zr, Mo, Ba, Nd, and Eu. The typical method-to-method dispersion of the abundances varies between 0.10 and 0.20 dex. Conclusions: The Gaia-ESO sample of high-resolution spectra of FGK-type stars will be among the largest of its kind analyzed in a homogeneous way. The extensive list of elemental abundances derived in these stars will enable significant advances in the areas of stellar evolution and Milky Way formation and evolution. Based on observations made with the ESO/VLT, at Paranal Observatory, under program 188.B-3002 (The Gaia-ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey, PIs Gilmore and Randich). Appendices are available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201423937/olm">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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See detailThe Gaia astrophysical parameters inference system (Apsis). Pre-launch description
Bailer-Jones, C. A. L.; Andrae, R.; Arcay, B. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 559

The Gaia satellite will survey the entire celestial sphere down to 20th magnitude, obtaining astrometry, photometry, and low resolution spectrophotometry on one billion astronomical sources, plus radial ... [more ▼]

The Gaia satellite will survey the entire celestial sphere down to 20th magnitude, obtaining astrometry, photometry, and low resolution spectrophotometry on one billion astronomical sources, plus radial velocities for over one hundred million stars. Its main objective is to take a census of the stellar content of our Galaxy, with the goal of revealing its formation and evolution. Gaia's unique feature is the measurement of parallaxes and proper motions with hitherto unparalleled accuracy for many objects. As a survey, the physical properties of most of these objects are unknown. Here we describe the data analysis system put together by the Gaia consortium to classify these objects and to infer their astrophysical properties using the satellite's data. This system covers single stars, (unresolved) binary stars, quasars, and galaxies, all covering a wide parameter space. Multiple methods are used for many types of stars, producing multiple results for the end user according to different models and assumptions. Prior to its application to real Gaia data the accuracy of these methods cannot be assessed definitively. But as an example of the current performance, we can attain internal accuracies (RMS residuals) on F,G,K,M dwarfs and giants at G=15 (V=15-17) for a wide range of metallicites and interstellar extinctions of around 100K in effective temperature (Teff), 0.1mag in extinction (A0), 0.2dex in metallicity ([Fe/H]), and 0.25dex in surface gravity (logg). The accuracy is a strong function of the parameters themselves, varying by a factor of more than two up or down over this parameter range. After its launch in November 2013, Gaia will nominally observe for five years, during which the system we describe will continue to evolve in light of experience with the real data. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Gaia-ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey
Gilmore, G.; Randich, S.; Asplund, M. et al

in The Messenger (2012), 147

The Gaia-ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey has begun and will obtain high quality spectroscopy of some 100000 Milky Way stars, in the field and in open clusters, down to magnitude 19, systematically ... [more ▼]

The Gaia-ESO Public Spectroscopic Survey has begun and will obtain high quality spectroscopy of some 100000 Milky Way stars, in the field and in open clusters, down to magnitude 19, systematically covering all the major components of the Milky Way. This survey will provide the first homogeneous overview of the distributions of kinematics and chemical element abundances in the Galaxy. The motivation, organisation and implementation of the Gaia-ESO Survey are described, emphasising the complementarity with the ESA Gaia mission. Spectra from the very first observing run of the survey are presented. [less ▲]

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See detailGaia spectroscopy: processing, performances and scientific returns
Katz, D.; Cropper, M.; Meynadier, F. et al

in EAS Publication Series (2011, February 01)

During the five years of the mission, the Gaia spectrograph, the Radial Velocity Spectrometer (RVS) will repeatedly survey the celestial sphere down to magnitude V ~ 17-18. This talk presents: (i) the ... [more ▼]

During the five years of the mission, the Gaia spectrograph, the Radial Velocity Spectrometer (RVS) will repeatedly survey the celestial sphere down to magnitude V ~ 17-18. This talk presents: (i) the system which is currently developed within the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC) to reduce and calibrate the spectra and to derive the radial and rotational velocities, (ii) the RVS expected performances and (iii) scientific returns. [less ▲]

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