2 August 2014 Enabling Gaia observations of naked-eye stars
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Abstract
The ESA Gaia space astrometry mission will perform an all-sky survey of stellar objects complete in the nominal magnitude range G = [6.0 - 20.0]. The stars with G < 6.0, i.e. those visible to the unaided human eye, would thus not be observed by Gaia. We present an algorithm configuration for the Gaia on-board autonomous object observation system that makes it possible to observe very bright stars with G = [2.0-6.0). Its performance has been tested during the in-orbit commissioning phase achieving an observation completeness of ~ 94% at G = 3 – 5.7 and ~ 75% at G = 2 – 3. Furthermore, two targeted observation techniques for data acquisition of stars brighter than G=2.0 were tested. The capabilities of these two techniques and the results of the in-flight tests are presented. Although the astrometric performance for stars with G < 6.0 has yet to be established, it is clear that several science cases will benefit from the results of the work presented here.
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J. Martín-Fleitas, J. Martín-Fleitas, J. Sahlmann, J. Sahlmann, A. Mora, A. Mora, R. Kohley, R. Kohley, B. Massart, B. Massart, J. L'Hermitte, J. L'Hermitte, M. Le Roy, M. Le Roy, P. Paulet, P. Paulet, } "Enabling Gaia observations of naked-eye stars", Proc. SPIE 9143, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2014: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 91430Y (2 August 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2056325; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2056325
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