Call for media: First data release from ESA's Gaia mission

1 September 2016

Media representatives are invited to a briefing on the first data release of ESA’s Gaia mission, an astrometry mission to map the stars of our galaxy, the Milky Way. 

The media briefing is being organised by ESA at the European Space Astronomy Centre (ESAC) in Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain, on Wednesday 14 September 2016, 11:30–13:00 CEST. Doors open at 11:00 CEST.

Launched in December 2013, Gaia is destined to create the most accurate map yet of the Milky Way. By making accurate measurements of the positions and motions of stars in the Milky Way, it will answer questions about the origin and evolution of our home galaxy.

The first data release, containing among other things three-dimensional positions and two-dimensional motions of a subset of two million stars, demonstrates that Gaia’s measurements are as precise as planned, paving the way to create the full map of one billion stars to be released towards the end of 2017.

The media briefing will provide examples of the performance of the satellite and its science data and will highlight the science that can be done with this first data release.

Programme outline

Alvaro Gimenez, Director of Science, ESA:
Astrometry with Gaia at the very core of ESA’s Science Programme

Fred Jansen, ESA Gaia Mission Manager:
Operating at the limits of precision

Timo Prusti, ESA Gaia Project Scientist:
Gaia on the way to the most precise map of our galaxy

Anthony Brown, Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium, Leiden University:
A first exploration of the Gaia sky

Antonella Vallenari, Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium, Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF), Astronomical Observatory of Padua:
Gaia’s view of the nearby star clusters

Gisella Clementini, Gaia Data Processing and Analysis Consortium Member of Coordination Unit 7, Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF), Astronomical Observatory of Bologna:
Gaia and the distance ladder

Question and Answer sessions and opportunity for individual interviews


For accreditation, media can register at:

Please register by 12 September.

How to get to ESAC:

Follow online

Web streaming:

Social media: Twitter: @esascience. Ask questions via #AskESA.

For further information, please contact:
ESA Media Relations Office
Tel: +33 1 53 69 72 99

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