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Astronomy

Timo Prusti plenary: Gaia: Scientific In-orbit Performance

A plenary talk from SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation 2014

16 July 2014, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201407.13

Timo Prusti, European Space Agency (The Netherlands) Gaia is a European Space Agency cornerstone mission launched 19 December 2013 from French Guyana to map the sky down to the 20th magnitude for point sources. Astrometry and photometry is done for all detected objects and spectroscopy down to magnitude limit 16.

The nominal operations are scheduled for 5 years. The scientific yield is expected to contain a billion stars with positions, distances, and proper motions based on astrometry. Through photometry, the stellar properties of this sample can be deduced. From spectroscopy, Gaia allows the extraction of some 150 million radial velocities for the brightest stars.

This plenary session summarizes the status of the spacecraft and provides updated scientific performance estimates based on the in-orbit data from the commissioning phase.

Timo Prusti is the Gaia Project Scientist at the European Space Agency (ESA). Before joining ESA, he worked as a postdoc at the Observatory of Arcetri, Florence (Italy). At ESA, he worked with the Infrared Space Observatory and Herschel before taking up the Gaia duties. His scientific interests are related to young stars especially in close-by clusters and with disks.