Tag Archives: data

Gaia discovers its first supernova

While scanning the sky to measure the positions and movements of stars in our Galaxy, Gaia has discovered its first stellar explosion in another galaxy far, far away. This powerful event, now named Gaia14aaa, took place in...

Opening (activating) the gates of Gaia

As you may know already from previous blog entries Gaia will fly the biggest camera ever into space. The image created by the two telescopes will be huge: about 1 m wide and 0.5 m high. To cover this entire area you need 106 different CCDs (detectors). Most of them are white light CCDs. Additionally there are blue sensitive (BP) and red sensitive (RP) CCDs. About one billion pixels (picture elements) are distributed over the focal plane as each CCD consists of about 9 million pixels. CCD images can have saturated pixels as you may have experienced with your digital camera when taking photos or videos and a bright light source is...

Gaia data processing

In a previous blog entry you have learned about the rehearsals taking place in preparation for the Gaia data processing. Unlike a mission such as the Hubble Space Telescope, Gaia does not produce data that is immediately scientifically useful. The raw telemetry must first be processed before we can obtain the sought after distances, motions, and properties of the stars observed by Gaia. This immense task will be undertaken by a pan-European collaboration, the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium (DPAC). The DPAC consists of about 450 persons, spread over academic institutes and space agencies throughout Europe and beyond, who are actively contributing to writing the millions of lines of code needed...