Gaia in the UK

Taking the Galactic Census

Gaia Data Release 1 Cambridge workshop

Programme (FINAL)

Please check back as this page will be updated before the meeting (until marked as FINAL)

09.30: Gaia Mission and Status Nicholas Walton pdf
10.00: What's in Gaia DR1 Nicholas Walton see above
10.30: Usage of Astrometric data (inc handling of errors) Nigel Hambly pdf
11.00-11.30  Coffee    
11.30: The Gaia data archive - intro in how to access Gaia Data and ise of ADQL in the ESA archive. Giorgia Busso pdf
12.00: Use of Gaia DR1 data from TOPCAT Mark Taylor pdf
12:30: API access with Python to the Gaia DR1 data Andy Casey pdf
13.00-14.00 Buffet lunch    
14.00: Participants Use Cases    
15.30: Participant Feedback and Wrap-Up    
16.00 Close    

Date and Location

Tues 27th September 2016

Instutute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge.

For details of how to get to the IoA please see The site map is at Please register by coming first to the main Hoyle Building reception area.

The morning lectures will be held in the Sackler Lecture Theatre. 

Breakout Sessions:

The afternoon sessions will be located in the Ryle Seminar room [Group A], the Hoyle Committee Room [Group B] and Sackler Lecture Theatre [Group C]. Groups are provsionally listed below and will be confirmed during the morning. 


Breakout groups indicated [A], [B] or [C]

  • David Cole (Oxford) [C]
  • Payel Das (Oxford) [A]
  • Nathalie Degenaar (IoA, Cambridge) [A]
  • Walter Dehnen (Leicester) [C]
  • Denis Erkal  (IoA, Cambridge) [A]
  • Wyn Evans (IoA, Cambridge) [B] 
  • Edward Gillen (IoA, Cambridge) [B] 
  • Ghina Halabi (IoA, Cambridge) [B] 
  • Vedad Hodzic (Cambridge) [A]
  • Robert Izzard  (IoA, Cambridge) [B] 
  • Prashin Jethwa (IoA, Cambridge) [C]
  • Derek Jones (IoA, Cambridge) [A]
  • Malgorzata van Leeuwen  (IoA, Cambridge) [C]
  • Cameron Lemon  (IoA, Cambridge) [A]
  • Richard McMahon (IoA, Cambridge) [B] 
  • Andrew Norton (OU) [A]
  • Lindsay Oldham (IoA, Cambridge) [A]
  • John Pye (Leicester) [C]
  • Pam Rowden (OU) [C]
  • Jason Sanders (IoA, Cambridge) [A]
  • Juan Venancio Hernandez Santisteban (Amsterdam) [B] 
  • Conor Talbot (Warwick) [B] 
  • Samantha Thompson (Cambridge) [B] 
  • Amaury Triaud (Cambridge) [B] 
  • Mark Wilkinson (Leicester) [C]
  • Angus Williams  (IoA, Cambridge) [C]
  • Clare Worley (IoA, Cambridge) [C]
Updated 20160926

Tutors (Groups A,B,C)

  • Giorgia Busso (IoA, Cambridge) [A]
  • Andy Casey (IoA, Cambridge) [A]
  • Nigel Hambly (Edinburgh) [B]
  • Anna Hourihane (IoA, Cambridge) [B]
  • Paula Jofre Pfeil (IoA, Cambridge) [C]
  • Mark Taylor (Bristol) [C]
  • George Seabroke (MSSL/UCL) [B/C]
  • Nicholas Walton (IoA, Cambridge) [A/B]

What to Bring

Each attendee is requested to bring a personal laptop.

Wireless access is avilable to all attendees. Eduroam is the preferred access mechanism. Otherwise user credentials for the University network will be provided.

Pre-Meeting Software

All attendees will get the chance to use the Gaia archive tools in the afternoon sessions. Please aim to install the following software (if you don't already have them). 

Installing the 'helper' clients.

Java is required by Topcat and Aladin: any recent java version is OK, but Oracle/Hotspot Java SE (from is recommended rather than OpenJDK.  On linux you can run “java -version” to see which you have.

Instructions for installing Python

Some scripting access will be provided using python. 

If you don’t already have a Python (scientific) stack on your computer, you can easily install the Anaconda stack. This comes with “batteries included”, and comes packed with numpy (numerical python), scipy (scientific python), Astropy (astronomical Python library), and matplotlib (a plotting library).   You can get the Python 2.7 or Python 3.5 Anaconda version from:   If you don’t know which Python version to chose, then select Python 3.5 (graphical or command line installer -- either is OK).  

Background Material and Breakout Sessions

During the breakout sessions, the tutors and attendees will aim to work through a number of the use cases that attendees have suggested at the time of registration. In addition, attendees can work through cases that they suggest on the day, with help from the tutors.   The Gaia DR1 data can be found at: Help information on the use of ADQL can be found at:


Lunch and teas / coffee refreshments will be provided for all attendees.