From Gaia Science Alerts Working Group
Concise pack of information is available in the Verification brochure
The main aim of the Science Alerts Verification Phase (SAVP) is to verify the robustness of the issued alerts and confirm them with a dedicated network of follow-up telescopes operating in a Target of Opportunity (ToO) mode. The verification observations should be carried out both photometrically (imaging) and spectroscopically in order to, e.g. confirm the presence of the detected new object, or to confirm or fine-tune the classification of the alert. The verification phase should reveal all necessary adjustments which have to be done to the detection and classification algorithms to assure the best and the most robust performance later on.
The verification phase could last for about 3 months and is planned to take place after around 3-6 months after receiving the first Gaia data to assure there is enough historical data available for most of the objects, and to allow for shake-down of the Gaia Initial Data Treatment (IDT). Some areas (close to the nodes of the scanning pattern) will have enough observations accumulated to allow for an earlier start of the alerting pipeline, as long as the GAIA data flow is operating smoothly. In principle, some pre-launch preparation could take place in the areas of very dense Gaia sampling. This could include gathering all useful information about the objects in these regions, both from existing catalogues and accompanied by new observations. This could include variability classification and spectral type classification to test recovery of known candidate (potential) transient sources, as well as likely contaminants.
The Science Alerts Verification Phase will be conducted mainly under umbrella of GBOG (Ground Based Observations for Gaia), however we encourage other groups of astronomers to join this effort as early as possible. Early involvement in the alerts observations can result in establishing a good connection with the Gaia alerts stream when they become fully public.
If you have a telescope and would like get involved in the Gaia alerts verification, please contact Lukasz Wyrzykowski
Photometric Calibrations Server
Please refer to Gaia Science Alerts Follow-up Server page for details on uniform calibration procedures
Preparations for the verification phase
We are now at the preparation stage for the verification. There still time to join the Gaia Follow-Up Network for Transient Objects (Gaia-FUN-TO). Each potential partner must complete a series of tests before the actual verification phase begins.
Allocated observing time
- 16-30 September 2014 (TBC)
- Steve Potter, local observers, Krystian Ilkiewicz (Poland, helps with data reductions)
- V<17 mag
- 16-30 September 2014 (TBC)
- Gisella Clementini, Krzysztof Ulaczyk, Michal Pawlak, Lukasz Wyrzykowski, students from Warsaw, Bologna and Cambridge.
- Primarily photometry
- 16 September until ??
- Primarily spectroscopy