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2010 CFHT Users Meeting
November 16-18, 2010
ASIAA Auditorium, Taipei, Taiwan

Oral Presentation

Current status of the GAIA mission and the importance of complementary ground-based observations

Author(s): Catherine Turon and Frédéric Arenou

Presenter: Catherine Turon (GEPI, Observatoire de Paris)

Gaia is the next cornerstone of the ESA's Science Programme, planned for launch in November 2012 and aiming at an unprecedented stereoscopic survey of our Milky Way and the nearby universe including 1 billion stars, 300 000 solar system objects, millions of galaxies, 500 000 quasars, 8000 exoplanets. In addition to astrometric observations of exquisite accuracies (from 7 micro-arcseconds for the brightest part of the programme to 300 micro-arcseconds for the faintest), dedicated on-board instruments will provide spectrophotometry in the red and blue wavelength ranges for all objects observed in astrometry, and spectroscopy for stars brighter than 17 mag. These two instruments will provide complementary radial velocity data and astrophysical diagnostics. However, specific complementary ground-based observations, in particular to get detailed chemical informations for a large number of stars, should be planned in advance to maximise the return from the Gaia mission in various fields of applications.

This presentation will concentrate on the status and expected science performance of Gaia and on the importance of detailed spectroscopic observations for Near Field Cosmology and the understanding of the mechanisms of formation and evolution of the Galaxy.

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