The main aim of the workshop is to focus community attention on and involvement in the scientific possibilities that will arise from the Gaia Science Alerts data stream.
Gaia will be launched in 2012 and will repeatedly monitor the whole sky in the optical during its 5 year mission. The Gaia Science Alerts team will search for transient phenomena in source photometry as the data are promptly ingested for processing. The aim will be to detect large numbers of Supernovae, Microlensing Events, Novae, Gamma-Ray Burst afterglows, and other interesting transient or anomalous phenomena. Gaia Alerts will be released to the world-wide community to enable rapid follow-up of the transients.
The purpose of the workshop is to discuss in detail the expected nature and potential of the Gaia Science Alerts data stream. Our goals are:
- To develop a roadmap for the coordination and preparation of ground based verification and follow-up observing campaigns.
- Identification of the most exciting targets of opportunity for the Gaia Science Alerts stream.
- Improved understanding of the expected events and contaminants rates for Gaia alerts.
- Improved requirements on the development and operation of the Gaia Alerts stream, including time-scales, sensitivity, acceptable contamination rates and so on.
Gaia Alerts represent a unique opportunity: triggers from transient phenomena are the first data that the astronomical community will see from the satellite.
We aim to bring together, in an interactive workshop environment, astronomers working in key relevant areas:
- Experts on the Gaia mission and data flow system, together with developers and scientists working on the Science Alerts System.
- Astronomers who are actively involved or interested in ongoing or planned surveys for transient phenomena, for example the Palomar Transient Factory, the Catalina Survey, the Supernova Factory, PanSTARRS, LSST, WASP, OGLE, ASAS.
- Active researchers into transient phenomena, such as Supernovae, Microlensing Events, Gamma Ray Bursts, Classical Novae, ExtraGalactic variability, CVs, Be stars, massive stars, solar system objects and so on.
- Scientists who are involved in the distribution of Alert information, e.g. from eSTAR and GCN
- Individuals who are interested in the outreach possibilities of Gaia Science Alerts.
We view this meeting as a kickoff for collaborative work to plan pre-launch and mission-based activities.