From Gaia Science Alerts Working Group
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Gaia and Gaia Alerts

ESA Gaia is continuing operations and is now well into its extended mission. DPAC have just released EDR3 with unprecedented astrometric and photometric data, and Gaia Photometric Science Alerts continues as a well established and leading transient survey. It discovers nearly 4000 objects a year from all over the sky, down to G=19, covering all possible classes of transients, from supernovae and CVs to rare phenomena like microlensing events or pair-instability supernovae.

Gaia Alerts Science

 The transient discovery machine within Gaia is constantly evolving allowing for more accurate transient identification. The longer baseline of Gaia data also allows for more robust detections of photometric anomalies. The alerting system is now also sensitive to slowly changing astrophysical events such as flares in distant quasars, young stellar objects, Be-type stars and microlensing events due to massive lenses. 


At the same time, we are seeing significant evolution in the area of photometric and spectroscopic follow-up. Robotisation and queue-scheduling of many telescopes enables more efficient coordination of long-term time-domain observations.

Workshop's promise

 The forthcoming Gaia Alerts Workshop, the 12th in the series, will be an opportunity to learn about the current state (and future plans for) Gaia and Gaia Alerts. We aim to discuss the detection, filtering, classification and publication of candidates. We will discover the most recent scientific highlights from Gaia Alerts, and we will explore the scientific potential of the programme.

During the workshop we will also explore the new possibilities offered by the Opticon-Radionet-Pilot H2020 in planning, obtaining and reducing in an efficient manner follow-up observations of transient alerts reported by other (non-GAIA) facilities.

Multimessenger time-domain

In particular, for this workshop we would like to extend the invitation to all time-domain astronomical activities, spanning all electromagnetic spectrum from radio, through optical to X-rays, and other domains (gravitational waves, neutrino detectors). We hope this workshop will be an opportunity for improving the coordination within time-domain astronomy and increasing the scientific output of surveys and follow-up observations in the multi-messenger era.

Meeting in the Covid era

The successful experience of our previous meetings shows that working personal interactions are highly effective at developing plans, solving challenges, and extending partnerships to new participants. For that reason, we hope this can be - at least for some participants - an in-person meeting.

We have all learned the benefits of on-line meetings for global participation so will schedule sessions during the week at times suitable for the widest possible participation on-line.

You are asked in the Registration to state your preference for in-person - if we are able to host that - or on-line participation. We shall certainly host on-line participation.

Given the ever-changing Covid, travel restriction and post-travel quarantine requirements, we will make a final decision on in-person participation in early-mid October. Individuals should follow their national guidance. For travel organising, please do ensure you have full cancellation and health cover insurance in place.