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gaia data release 3 documentation

19 Performance verification

19.1 Introduction

Each data release is accompanied with a series of A&A papers. These fall in three categories:

  • Summary papers authored by the full Gaia Collaboration: these papers provide an overview of the contents of the data release and summarise specifics of the survey. These papers also discuss the limitations of the data and provide recommendations for responsible use;

  • Processing papers authored by smaller groups within the Gaia Collaboration: these papers give technical details on the processing and calibration of the raw data and the path taken to arrive at the data release. The processing papers are complementary to this Gaia Data Release Documentation;

  • Performance verification papers authored by the full Gaia Collaboration: these papers give an overview of the science potential of the data release in a particular science domain. Without going into in-depth analysis, these papers provide a short introduction to the selected science topic and hence merely demonstrate the scientific quality of the data through some examples. Performance verification papers are neither exhaustive nor definitive treatments of the science topics they address.

All papers can be found here for Gaia DR1, here for Gaia DR2, here for Gaia EDR3, and here for Gaia DR3.

Some performance verification papers contain data tables that are useful for the community. Starting with Gaia DR3, a selection of these tables is included the Gaia ESA Archive. These tables, which appear under the heading ‘Performance verification’ in the Gaia DR3 table tree in the Archive, are somewhat special in the sense that they are fully described in the corresponding performance verification paper. These tables are neither based on proprietary or otherwise non-public external data nor on data that has not been released in Gaia DR3. As such, the tables are fully reproducible by external scientists and are hence more convenience tables rather than formal tables that belong to Gaia DR3. It is also important to note that these tables have gone through A&A peer review but have not followed the normal, internal validation route within the Gaia Collaboration.