3.4.3 Secondary source processing

Author(s): Jose Hernandez

The converged attitude, calibration and global parameters obtained in the primary solution were used to perform a source update on all sources which had at least one AstroElementary with valid cross matched AF transits. The solution was done performing a five-parameter update and the full covariance matrix was used to compute the formal astrometric errors and correlations. As for the primary source update all the secondary sources where treated as single stars and the reference epoch of the solution was J2015.5. The primary sources where also updated in the secondary update as this is easier for practical reasons and also to ensure that all sources in the catalogue were treated in the same way. The attitude used for the secondary update was already in the ICRF3 reference frame which automatically ensures that all the source positions for the secondary data set are also in the same reference frame.

Sources failing to meet the acceptance criteria for a full five-parameter solution were relegated to a two-parameter solution instead (so just the position was determined), as described in Lindegren et al. (2018) section 4.3. Five-parameter and two-parameter solutions in the Archive can be distinguished using the field astrometric_params_solved which will take the values 31 (a 5 parameter solution) and 3 (a 2 parameter solution) respectively. This step included a computation of the pseudo-colour for all sources using the chromaticity calibration from the primary run. The pseudo-colour, is much less precise than the νeff calculated from GBP and GRP photometry, but has the advantage that it can be obtained for every source. In the secondary update we used this calculated pseudo-colour (given in the Gaia Archive as astrometric_pseudo_colour) as a proxy for νeff for all sources. We adopted this scheme to ensure the most uniform astrometric treatment of the sources; moreover, it mitigates the astrometric impact of the BP, RP flux excess issue Evans et al. (2018), which tends to make faint sources in crowded areas too blue as measured by photometry. Normally, however, the pseudo-colour is not an astrophysically useful estimate of the colour due to its low accuracy compared with the photometric estimates.