Gaia Data Release 3
Gaia is a European Space Agency mission that aims to create the most accurate and complete multi-dimensional map of the Milky Way. This allows astronomers to reconstruct our home galaxy’s past and future evolution over billions of years, to better understand the lifecycle of stars, and our place in the Universe.
On June 13th 2022, Gaia’s third full data set will be released. It contains new and improved parameters for almost two billion objects in our Milky Way and revolutionizes our understanding of the Galaxy. The data released include radial velocities, chemical compositions, stellar temperatures, colours, masses, ages, parallaxes and proper motions of stars. Many of these parameters are derived from the newly released spectroscopic data. Also new in this data set is the largest catalogue yet of binary stars in the Milky Way, thousands of Solar System objects such as asteroids and moons of planets, and millions of galaxies and quasars.
Together with the new data set, about fifty scientific papers will be published, nine of which are specifically dedicated to demonstrating the great potential of Gaia’s new data.
A team of scientists from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) and from the Institute for Astronomy, Astrophysics, Space Applications and Remote Sensing of the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) are involved in a multiyear effort within the Data Processing and Analysis Consortium of Gaia, which is responsible for the preparation of the Gaia mission data release. The original team was formed in 2003 and was led for more than a decade by Prof. Mary Kontizas (NKUA), followed by Dr. Ioannis Bellas-Velidis (NOA) and recently by Prof. Despina Hatzidimitriou (NKUA). The team has been involved in a few Coordination Units of DPAC but its major unique role is the work-package “Unresolved Galaxies Classifier”, UGC, for the development and application of automatic processing and analysis of spectra of galaxies observed by Gaia. The UGC provides redshifts for more than a million of galaxies in the new Gaia Data Release 3.
A press event will be streamed publicly at https://esawebtv.esa.int (June 13, 2002, 10:00-11:00 CEST).
More information can be found at https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/gaia/data-release-3.