Ground-based activities complementary to Gaia
The Gaia space astrometry mission has been launched on 19 December 2013. Several objectives require ground-based observations.
Since Gaia is not a space observatory but is mapping the sky with the constraint of a scanning law, observations from the ground are
necessary to be performed to ensure the discovery, to follow up the transit events and finally to improve the scientific return.
Several groups have organized such programs for photometry, spectroscopy and astrometry.
In particular, astrometric alerts for Solar System Objects (SSO) are triggered since November 2016.
In order to use these alerts, the Gaia-FUN-SSO network has been set up for performing a follow-up of critical Solar System Objects (SSO)
which are detected by the probe but could be lost without ground-based astrometry. These ground-based observations are
very useful for validating the detection from space. This page gives a short historical overview of the steps performed for these goals.
- Gaia SSO alerts (October 2020): results obtained during the last years by the Gaia-FUN-SSO network are provided in an article submitted to A&A (see Carry et al., 2020, at https://arxiv.org/abs/2010.02553 )
- Gaia SSO alerts (May 2020): on date more than 200 detections of new objects by Gaia have been confirmed with ground-based observations. The most part of these objects which were not in the reference orbital catalog when Gaia observed, have been introduced now and have received a designation from the MPC. The main part of the detections are done at the LCOGT observations (see https://gaiafunsso.imcce.fr/stats/network.php )
- Gaia SSO alerts (February 2019): a joint project for the follow-up of the new objects detected by Gaia and by the GBOT program has been launched at the Las Cumbres Optical Global Telescope network (LCOGT).
- Gaia SSO alerts (January 2018): new improvements have been done in the alert pipeline and on the web page :
- number of Gaia observations (nb. of transits) for each detection
- estimated dynamical class (NEO, MBA,...)
- Gaia SSO alerts (January 2018): several improvements have been done in the alert pipeline and on the web page :
improved precision of prediction, estimation of the apparent velocity, page about the global results,...
- Gaia SSO alerts (December 2017): After one year of activity, we count more than 1500 alerts for validation of
Solar System Object detections (5 alerts every day on average)
- Gaia SSO alerts (November 2016): The daily triggering of alerts for the follow up of Solar System objects detected
by Gaia is operating. Observers can access the data at this address:https://gaiafunsso.imcce.fr.
- GBOT SSO alerts (March 2016): The newly discovered asteroids by the ground based optical tracking GBOT are processed similarly to the Gaia-FUN-SSO
alerts for asteroids discovered by the probe: observers can access both alerts at
the same address.
- Gaia SSO alerts (March 2016): after a long period for overcoming difficulties for the discrimination
of the SSO observational data, we are almost ready to enter in an active phase for the validation of the Gaia detection of new
Solar System Objects. The registration of the observers on the Gaia-FUN-SSO pipeline
at this address is required in order to get soon the topocentric
ephemerides and sky charts.
Otherwise only the geocentric information will be available. Furthermore, the GBOT detection
of new SSO (see below) are also merged in this pipeline.
- GBOT SSO alerts (2015):
The positionning of Gaia required the set up of a specific task, the Ground Based Optical Tracking activity (
GBOT, web accessible at http://gbot.obspm.fr/), which regularly provides astrometry of the probe itself.
During the analysis of the data currently provided by this task, the GBOT team is able to extract astrometry
from moving objects. It appeared that GBOT can detect many asteroids and in particular several non yet
identified ones! These objects are in the field of view of Gaia, toward the L2 point, therefore at their
opposition. GBOT is not able to monitor these objects and the confirmation of detection of new objects,
along with their complementary astrometry measurement, can be a task assigned to the Gaia-FUN-SSO network.
We encourage the Gaia-FUN-SSO participants to contribute to this validation.
All necessary specific information related to the GBOT asteroids can be accessed at
this address .
Recent unknown asteroid observations are available at
this address .
On this page, you can get the MPC formated astrometry and you can use it for computing ephemerides with one
of the following tools: On-Line Find_Orb or
New Object Ephemeris Generator .
Results must be sent to the MPC...
- Gaia-FUN-SSO pipeline: registration open (March 2015): in order to manage the automatic dissemination of SSO alerts from Gaia we have developed a pipeline.
Any observer who wishes to participate to the retrieving of the detected SSO can join the network but needs to be registred. See at
- Gaia-FUN-SSO Workshop #3 in 2014: the Third Gaia-FUN-SSO workshop
is organized on 24-26 November 2014 in Paris (France). The prelaunch astrometric campaigns recently organized and the first astrometric observations
on alert during the mission will be discussed.
The proceedings of this workshop are accessible here.
- GREAT Plenary session 2014: ground-based complementary observations are also dscussed during the the GREAT Plenary Meeting
is held in Geneva on 30 June- 2 July 2014
- Gaia-FUN-SSO Workshop #2 in 2012 : the second Gaia-FUN-SSO Workshop is organized on 19-21 September 2012 in Paris (France).
Prelaunch astrometric campaigns recently organized and
next astrometric observations on alert during the mission will be discussed.
Further details are accessible and registration on line is possible on the workshop website
- Gaia-FUN-SSO Wiki : registered participants to the Gaia Follow-Up Network for the Solar System Objects, Gaia-FUN-SSO network, can access to a collaborative tool. The address is: https://www.imcce.fr/gaia-fun-sso/.
A registration form for new observing sites interested by such astrometric observations to be performed by this network is accessible on the home page of this wiki.
- Pisa Workshop 2011: the workshop "Solar System science before and after Gaia" has been held on 4-6 May 2011 in Pisa.
The address is http://www.oca.eu/workshop/Pise/
- Gaia-FUN-SSO Workshop #1 in 2010 : in november 2010 a Workshop has been held in Paris to organize the
Gaia Follow-Up Network (Gaia-FUN-SSO)
for ground-based complementary observations of the Solar System objects (more information at gaia-fun-sso.imcce.fr)
(see also the abstract by Thuillot here)
- Gaia Science Alert 2010: in June 2010 the
Gaia Science Alerts Workshop
takes place at the Institute of Astronomy, Cambridge, 23-25th June 2010 and is supported by the ESF GREAT programme.
- GBOT: in 2009 the Ground Based Optical Tracking program (GBOT) involving ground-based stations is set up
in order to achieve the high level positionning requirements of the probe itself (see for example the abstract by Souchay
and Taris here)
Updated: 5 January 2021 - Home page: https://iau_wgnps.imcce.fr