Gaia in the UK

Taking the Galactic Census

Gaia Data Release 2

Gaia Data Release 2 is scheduled for 25 April 2018. Preliminary description of the contents of Gaia DR2 is given below. A detailed description of the Gaia DR2 data model will be provided in the coming month. More information on data quality, statistics and limitations of the data in Gaia Data Release 2 will be provided closer to the date of the data release. For more information visit Gaia Data Release 2 page on the European Space Agency website.

Gaia DR2 data is based on data collected between 25 July 2014 (10:30 UTC) and 23 May 2016 (11:35 UTC), spanning a period of 22 months of data collection (or 668 days), as compared to Gaia DR1 which was based on observations collected in the first 14 months of Gaia's routine operational phase.

The reference epoch for Gaia DR2 is J2015.5 (with respect to the J2015.0 epoch for Gaia DR1). Positions and proper motions are referred to the ICRS, to which the optical reference frame defined by Gaia DR2 is aligned. The time coordinate for Gaia DR2 results is the barycentric coordinate time (TCB).

Contents of Gaia DR2

  • The five-parameter astrometric solution - positions on the sky (α, δ), parallaxes, and proper motions - for more than 1.3 billion (109) sources, with a limiting magnitude of G = 21 and a bright limit of G ≈ 3. Parallax uncertainties are in the range of up to 0.04 milliarcsecond for sources at G < 15, around 0.1 mas for sources with G=17 and at the faint end, the uncertainty is of the order of 0.7 mas at G = 20. The corresponding uncertainties in the respective proper motion components are up to 0.06 mas yr-1 (for G < 15 mag), 0.2 mas yr-1 (for G = 17 mag) and 1.2 mas yr-1 (for G = 20 mag). The Gaia DR2 parallaxes and proper motions are based only on Gaia data; they do no longer depend on the Tycho-2 Catalogue.
  • Radial velocities for more than 6 million stars with a mean G magnitude between about 4 and 13 and an effective temperature (Teff) in the range of about 3550 to 6900 K. This leads to a full six-parameter solution: positions and motions on the sky with parallaxes and radial velocities, all combined with mean G magnitudes. The overall precision of the radial velocities at the bright end is in the order of 200-300 m s-1 while at the faint end the overall precision is approximately 1.2 km s-1 for a Teff of 4750 K and about 2.5 km s-1 for a Teff of 6500 K.
  • An additional set of more than 200 million sources for which a two-parameter solution is available: the positions on the sky (α, δ) combined with the mean G magnitude, with a limiting magnitude of G ≈ 21 and a bright limit of G ≈ 3. These sources will have a positional uncertainty at G=20 of about 2 mas, at J2015.5.
  • G magnitudes for more than 1.5 billion sources, with precisions varying from around 1 millimagnitude at the bright (G<13) end to around 20 millimagnitudes at G=20. Please be aware that the photometric system for the G band in Gaia DR2 will be different from the photometric system as used in Gaia DR1.
  • GBP and GRP magnitudes for more than 1.1 billion sources, with precisions varying from a few millimagnitudes at the bright (G<13) end to around 200 millimagnitudes at G=20.
  • Full passband definitions for G, BP and RP.
  • Epoch astrometry for more than 13,000 known asteroids based on more than 1.5 million CCD observations. 96% of the along-scan (AL) residuals are in the range -5 to 5 mas, and 52% of the AL residuals are in the range of -1 to 1 mas. The observations will be published in Gaia DR2 and also delivered to the Minor Planet Center (MPC).
  • Subject to limitations (see Gaia Data Release 2) the effective temperatures Teff for more than 150 million sources brighter than 17th magnitude with effective temperatures in the range 3000 to 10,000 K. For a subset of these sources also the line-of-sight extinction AG and reddening E(BP-RP) will be given, as well as the luminosity and radius.
  • Lightcurves for more than 500,000 variable sources consisting of Cepheids, RR Lyrae, Mira and Semi-Regular Candidates as well as High-Amplitude Delta Scuti and SX Phoenicis Candidates.
  • Planned cross-matches between Gaia DR2 sources on the one hand and Hipparcos-2, Tycho-2, 2MASS PSC, SDSS DR9, Pan-STARRS, GSC2.3, PPM-XL, AllWISE, and URAT-1 data on the other hand.

Credit: ESA and the Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium.

Page last updated: 26 January 2018