Workshop2015:rationale

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Gaia was launched in December 2013 and began science operations in August 2014. While the first superb astrometric data will be delivered to the community in coming years, Gaia Photometric Science Alerts has been publishing alerts since October 2014. So far, about 300 transients have been found, among them many supernovae, cataclysmic variables, candidate microlensing events as well as rare and exciting discoveries (e.g., the eclipsing AM CVn Gaia14aae). Many Gaia alerts have been followed-up spectroscopically and photometrically, with the Gaia Follow-up Network alone collecting nearly 10,000 photometric data points for Gaia triggers.

We would like to gather together again this year in Liverpool (UK) on 10-13 November 2015 to talk about the first year of the Gaia Science Alerts programme. Topics for the meeting include:

  • Discussion of the extensive follow-up observations carried out over the past year.
  • Using these data to aid automated classification within the AlertPipe software.
  • The new Gaia Alerts publisher and interfaces.
  • Science cases for Gaia Science Alerts.
  • The next steps: how to exploit improved performance, and organise the follow-up.
  • Interfaces to robotic telescope networks.
  • Feedback from follow-up into Gaia Alerts.
  • Outreach Opportunities.
  • Interfacing to other Alert streams.
  • Dedicated hands-on sessions:
    • Introduction of Gaia Alerts to new follow-up partners.
    • Tools for processing and analysing follow-up photometry and spectroscopy.

As with previous meetings, we are happy to announce the support of the EC OPTICON network for this year’s workshop (under WP11: Time-domain Astronomy)