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Gaia photometric science alerts

Gaia photometric science alerts
Gaia photometric science alerts
Since July 2014, the Gaia mission has been engaged in a high-spatial-resolution, time-resolved, precise, accurate astrometric, and photometric survey of the entire sky. Aims: We present the Gaia Science Alerts project, which has been in operation since 1 June 2016. We describe the system which has been developed to enable the discovery and publication of transient photometric events as seen by Gaia. Methods: We outline the data handling, timings, and performances, and we describe the transient detection algorithms and filtering procedures needed to manage the high false alarm rate. We identify two classes of events: (1) sources which are new to Gaia and (2) Gaia sources which have undergone a significant brightening or fading. Validation of the Gaia transit astrometry and photometry was performed, followed by testing of the source environment to minimise contamination from Solar System objects, bright stars, and fainter near-neighbours. Results: We show that the Gaia Science Alerts project suffers from very low contamination, that is there are very few false-positives. We find that the external completeness for supernovae, $C_E=0.46$, is dominated by the Gaia scanning law and the requirement of detections from both fields-of-view. Where we have two or more scans the internal completeness is $C_I=0.79$ at 3 arcsec or larger from the centres of galaxies, but it drops closer in, especially within 1 arcsec. Conclusions: The per-transit photometry for Gaia transients is precise to 1 per cent at $G=13$, and 3 per cent at $G=19$. The per-transit astrometry is accurate to 55 milliarcseconds when compared to Gaia DR2. The Gaia Science Alerts project is one of the most homogeneous and productive transient surveys in operation, and it is the only survey which covers the whole sky at high spatial resolution (subarcsecond), including the Galactic plane and bulge.
astro-ph.IM
0035-8711
Hodgkin, S. T.
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Harrison, D. L.
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Breedt, E.
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Wevers, T.
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Rixon, G.
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Delgado, A.
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Yoldas, A.
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Kostrzewa-Rutkowska, Z.
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Wyrzykowski, Ł.
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Koposov, S. E.
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Kruszyńska, K.
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Cowell, S.
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Diener, C.
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Portell, J.
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Prusti, T.
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Walton, N. A.
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Altavilla, G.
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O'Brien, P.
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Carrasco, J. M.
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Clementini, G.
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Copperwheat, C. M.
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Damljanovic, G.
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Davidson, M.
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Davis, C. J.
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Dennefeld, M.
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Dominik, M.
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Esquej, P.
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Eyer, L.
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Froebrich, D.
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Gomboc, A.
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González-Vidal, J. J.
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Holl, B.
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Hourihane, A.
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Kann, D. A.
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Kiss, C.
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Knigge, C.
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Komossa, S.
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Kóspál, Á.
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Kovács, G.
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Kun, M.
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Leto, G.
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Lewis, F.
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Littlefair, S. P.
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Mahabal, A. A.
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Mundell, C. G.
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Nagy, Z.
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Padeletti, D.
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Palaversa, L.
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Pigulski, A.
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Pretorius, M. L.
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Roelens, M.
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Rowell, N.
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Schartel, N.
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Schwope, A.
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Smith, M. D.
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Serraller, I.
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Steeghs, D.
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Sullivan, M.
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Szabados, L.
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Szegedi-Elek, E.
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Tisserand, P.
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Tomasella, L.
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Velzen, S. van
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Rixon, G.
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Delgado, A.
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Yoldas, A.
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Wyrzykowski, Ł.
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Leeuwen, M. van
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Campbell, H.
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Diener, C.
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Dennefeld, M.
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Dolding, C.
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Dominik, M.
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González-Vidal, J. J.
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Hourihane, A.
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Mahabal, A. A.
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Padeletti, D.
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Palaversa, L.
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Pretorius, M. L.
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Reeven, W. van
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Roelens, M.
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Rowell, N.
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Schartel, N.
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Serraller, I.
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Steeghs, D.
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Sullivan, M.
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Szabados, L.
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Szegedi-Elek, E.
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Tisserand, P.
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Tomasella, L.
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Velzen, S. van
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Whitelock, P. A
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Wilson, R. W.
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Young, D. R.
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Hodgkin, S. T., Harrison, D. L., Breedt, E., Wevers, T., Rixon, G., Delgado, A., Yoldas, A., Kostrzewa-Rutkowska, Z., Wyrzykowski, Ł., Leeuwen, M. van, Blagorodnova, N., Campbell, H., Eappachen, D., Fraser, M., Ihanec, N., Koposov, S. E., Kruszyńska, K., Marton, G., Rybicki, K. A., Brown, A. G. A., Burgess, P. W., Busso, G., Cowell, S., Angeli, F. De, Diener, C., Evans, D. W., Gilmore, G., Holland, G., Jonker, P. G., Leeuwen, F. van, Mignard, F., Osborne, P. J., Portell, J., Prusti, T., Richards, P. J., Riello, M., Seabroke, G. M., Walton, N. A., Ábrahám, Péter, Altavilla, G., Baker, S. G., Bastian, U., O'Brien, P., Bruijne, J. de, Butterley, T., Carrasco, J. M., Castañeda, J., Clark, J. S., Clementini, G., Copperwheat, C. M., Cropper, M., Damljanovic, G., Davidson, M., Davis, C. J., Dennefeld, M., Dhillon, V. S., Dolding, C., Dominik, M., Esquej, P., Eyer, L., Fabricius, C., Fridman, M., Froebrich, D., Garralda, N., Gomboc, A., González-Vidal, J. J., Guerra, R., Hambly, N. C., Hardy, L. K., Holl, B., Hourihane, A., Japelj, J., Kann, D. A., Kiss, C., Knigge, C., Kolb, U., Komossa, S., Kóspál, Á., Kovács, G., Kun, M., Leto, G., Lewis, F., Littlefair, S. P., Mahabal, A. A., Mundell, C. G., Nagy, Z., Padeletti, D., Palaversa, L., Pigulski, A., Pretorius, M. L., Reeven, W. van, Ribeiro, V. A. R. M., Roelens, M., Rowell, N., Schartel, N., Scholz, A., Schwope, A., Sipőcz, B. M., Smartt, S. J., Smith, M. D., Serraller, I., Steeghs, D., Sullivan, M., Szabados, L., Szegedi-Elek, E., Tisserand, P., Tomasella, L., Velzen, S. van, Whitelock, P. A, Wilson, R. W. and Young, D. R. (2021) Gaia photometric science alerts. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Record type: Article

Abstract

Since July 2014, the Gaia mission has been engaged in a high-spatial-resolution, time-resolved, precise, accurate astrometric, and photometric survey of the entire sky. Aims: We present the Gaia Science Alerts project, which has been in operation since 1 June 2016. We describe the system which has been developed to enable the discovery and publication of transient photometric events as seen by Gaia. Methods: We outline the data handling, timings, and performances, and we describe the transient detection algorithms and filtering procedures needed to manage the high false alarm rate. We identify two classes of events: (1) sources which are new to Gaia and (2) Gaia sources which have undergone a significant brightening or fading. Validation of the Gaia transit astrometry and photometry was performed, followed by testing of the source environment to minimise contamination from Solar System objects, bright stars, and fainter near-neighbours. Results: We show that the Gaia Science Alerts project suffers from very low contamination, that is there are very few false-positives. We find that the external completeness for supernovae, $C_E=0.46$, is dominated by the Gaia scanning law and the requirement of detections from both fields-of-view. Where we have two or more scans the internal completeness is $C_I=0.79$ at 3 arcsec or larger from the centres of galaxies, but it drops closer in, especially within 1 arcsec. Conclusions: The per-transit photometry for Gaia transients is precise to 1 per cent at $G=13$, and 3 per cent at $G=19$. The per-transit astrometry is accurate to 55 milliarcseconds when compared to Gaia DR2. The Gaia Science Alerts project is one of the most homogeneous and productive transient surveys in operation, and it is the only survey which covers the whole sky at high spatial resolution (subarcsecond), including the Galactic plane and bulge.

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2106.01394v1 - Accepted Manuscript
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Published date: 2 June 2021
Additional Information: 26 pages, 26 figures, accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics
Keywords: astro-ph.IM

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 449853
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/449853
ISSN: 0035-8711
PURE UUID: c2d27254-3e60-4682-8980-d52a11d20d1a
ORCID for M. Sullivan: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9053-4820

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 Jun 2021 16:31
Last modified: 09 Nov 2021 03:28

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Contributors

Author: S. T. Hodgkin
Author: D. L. Harrison
Author: E. Breedt
Author: T. Wevers
Author: G. Rixon
Author: A. Delgado
Author: A. Yoldas
Author: Z. Kostrzewa-Rutkowska
Author: Ł. Wyrzykowski
Author: M. van Leeuwen
Author: N. Blagorodnova
Author: H. Campbell
Author: D. Eappachen
Author: M. Fraser
Author: N. Ihanec
Author: S. E. Koposov
Author: K. Kruszyńska
Author: G. Marton
Author: K. A. Rybicki
Author: A. G. A. Brown
Author: P. W. Burgess
Author: G. Busso
Author: S. Cowell
Author: F. De Angeli
Author: C. Diener
Author: D. W. Evans
Author: G. Gilmore
Author: G. Holland
Author: P. G. Jonker
Author: F. van Leeuwen
Author: F. Mignard
Author: P. J. Osborne
Author: J. Portell
Author: T. Prusti
Author: P. J. Richards
Author: M. Riello
Author: G. M. Seabroke
Author: N. A. Walton
Author: Péter Ábrahám
Author: G. Altavilla
Author: S. G. Baker
Author: U. Bastian
Author: P. O'Brien
Author: J. de Bruijne
Author: T. Butterley
Author: J. M. Carrasco
Author: J. Castañeda
Author: J. S. Clark
Author: G. Clementini
Author: C. M. Copperwheat
Author: M. Cropper
Author: G. Damljanovic
Author: M. Davidson
Author: C. J. Davis
Author: M. Dennefeld
Author: V. S. Dhillon
Author: C. Dolding
Author: M. Dominik
Author: P. Esquej
Author: L. Eyer
Author: C. Fabricius
Author: M. Fridman
Author: D. Froebrich
Author: N. Garralda
Author: A. Gomboc
Author: J. J. González-Vidal
Author: R. Guerra
Author: N. C. Hambly
Author: L. K. Hardy
Author: B. Holl
Author: A. Hourihane
Author: J. Japelj
Author: D. A. Kann
Author: C. Kiss
Author: C. Knigge
Author: U. Kolb
Author: S. Komossa
Author: Á. Kóspál
Author: G. Kovács
Author: M. Kun
Author: G. Leto
Author: F. Lewis
Author: S. P. Littlefair
Author: A. A. Mahabal
Author: C. G. Mundell
Author: Z. Nagy
Author: D. Padeletti
Author: L. Palaversa
Author: A. Pigulski
Author: M. L. Pretorius
Author: W. van Reeven
Author: V. A. R. M. Ribeiro
Author: M. Roelens
Author: N. Rowell
Author: N. Schartel
Author: A. Scholz
Author: A. Schwope
Author: B. M. Sipőcz
Author: S. J. Smartt
Author: M. D. Smith
Author: I. Serraller
Author: D. Steeghs
Author: M. Sullivan ORCID iD
Author: L. Szabados
Author: E. Szegedi-Elek
Author: P. Tisserand
Author: L. Tomasella
Author: S. van Velzen
Author: P. A Whitelock
Author: R. W. Wilson
Author: D. R. Young

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