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gaia data release 3 documentation

5.7 Gaia Photometric Science Alerts

5.7.4 Detailed Notes

Duplicate Alerts

In the list of alerts prepared for Gaia DR3, two transient events are duplicated, and are retained in the table to match the events published on the science alerts website (they are also discussed in Hodgkin et al. (2021)). The duplicated events are: Gaia16adeGaia16aey, and Gaia16acrGaia16adx. This arose when they were assigned different sourceIds by IDT and hence were treated as different events within GSA. Since this occurred, we have implemented traps in our system (based on positional crossmatch) to avoid this kind of duplication. Ideally, we would have assigned the second sourceId (and its transits) as a mixed-in source to the first one. But once published, we decided to leave things as they stood.

130 missing alerts

There are a total of 130 alerts published by our system (and so on the GSA website) which were not included in Gaia DR3.

123 out of the 130 are missing because they were detected right at the beginning of operations, during the verification phase. Our nominal transient detectors were completely overwhelmed by artefacts - and so we could not trust them until we had better filters. For this first phase, we started running a temporary detector in parallel, which grouped transits together positionally, and ignored sourceId. They have no primary sourceId associated with the alert, and thus could not be included in the data release.

The remaining 7 alerts have no entry for their primary (alerting) transitId in the match table generated by IDU (i.e. these transits have been discarded in Gaia DR3). Thus they are not included here.

Classification of DR3 alerts

There are two main routes for an alert to be classified: (i) via a spectroscopic classification which is shared via an ATEL, TNS, or through some other survey included in our local archive (see Section 5.7.2 and Figure 5.53), and (ii) from the team in Warsaw who are classifying microlensing events from photometric lightcurve modelling, combined with spectroscopic follow-up (see Wyrzykowski et al. (2020)). Note that the GSA microlensing events included in Gaia DR3 are independent from those described in Section 10.9.

We have not added the classifications to the data tables included in Gaia DR3, because they are dynamic and never complete. Instead we encourage interested users to extract the information from For completeness we give the full list (45 classes) in Table 5.11. The default class for all alerts is unknown, until otherwise determined.

Table 5.11: Full list of GSA allowed classifications (as of December 2021). The list may be extended as the need arises. Some of the abbreviations have been expanded to help the reader.
ID Name ID Name
1 AGN (active galactic nucleus) 30 SSO
2 BL Lac 31 star
3 CCSN (core collapse supernova) 32 unknown
4 CV (cataclysmic variable) 33 YSO (young stellar object)
5 dK (dwarf star spectral type K) 34 SLSN (superluminous supernova)
6 dM (dwarf star spectral type M) 35 ULENS (microlensing event)
7 galaxy 36 SN IIn-pec
8 Nova 37 SN IIL
9 QSO (quasi stellar object) 38 SN Ic-pec
10 RCrB (R Coronae Borealis variable) 39 SN Ibn
11 SN 40 SN Ia-pec
13 SN I 41 SN Ia-CSM
14 SN Ia 42 LBV (luminous blue variable)
16 SN Ib 43 ILRT (intermediate-luminosity red transient)
19 SN Ib/c 44 Afterglow
20 SN Ic 45 WR
21 SN Ic-BL 46 Varstar
22 SN II 47 TDE (tidal disruption event)
24 SN IIb 49 Other
25 SN IIn 50 SN Iax
26 SN IIP 51 XRB
28 SN imposter 52 symbiotic star
29 SN I-pec