Gaia Photometric Science Alerts ("Gaia Alerts") is an all-sky photometric transient survey, based on the repeated, high-precision measurements made by the Gaia satellite. These repeated scans are needed to make high precision measurements of stellar positions, but they are ideal to look for variations in brightness as well. The Cambridge Institute of Astronomy DPCI runs a dedicated data processing pipeline to look for transient events in the Gaia data, i.e. "new" sources where previously nothing was detected, or sudden, dramatic changes in brightness of previously detected stars.
Gaia Alerts are made public immediately after the data processing and alert identification, typically 2-3 days after the observation by the satellite. The dedicated per-alert pages include all the data Gaia has collected for that source, including the light curves and low resolution BPRP spectra.
The Alert stream is available via the alerts index, the Transient Name Server, as VOEvents, and through dedicated apps, so that they can be followed up by ground-based astronomy facilities, professional and amateur astronomers and even groups of school children. Read more about Gaia in the PhysicsWeb article A billion pixels, a billion stars, and on gaia.ac.uk.
Simon Hodgkin (head), Abdullah Yoldas, Arancha Delgado, Dafydd Wyn Evans, Diana Harrison, Elmé Breedt, Floor van Leeuwen, Gerry Gilmore, Goska van Leeuwen, Gudrun Pebody, Guy Rixon, Łukasz Wyrzykowski and Thomas Wevers.
Previous members: Anna Hourihane, Jorge Fernández, Heather Campbell, Morgan Fraser, Nadia Blagorodnova, Ross Burgon, Sergey Koposov.
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