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gaia data release 3 documentation

20.11 Solar System object tables

20.11.1 sso_source

This table contains data related to Solar System objects observed by Gaia. The quantities in the table are derived from data reduction and are associated with single objects.

Columns description:

solution_id : Solution Identifier (long)

All Gaia data processed by the Data Processing and Analysis Consortium comes tagged with a solution identifier. This is a numeric field attached to each table row that can be used to unequivocally identify the version of all the subsystems that were used in the generation of the data as well as the input data used. It is mainly for internal DPAC use but is included in the published data releases to enable end users to examine the provenance of processed data products. To decode a given solution ID visit

source_id : Source identifier (long)

A unique single numerical identifier of the source. Note in particular that these identifiers are by convention negative for SSOs.

num_of_obs : number of observations (int)

Number of CCD-level observations of the asteroid that appear in the sso_observation table.

number_mp : Minor Planet number (long)

Minor planet number attributed by the Minor Planet Centre (MPC). It is set to zero for the natural planetary satellites and the candidate new minor planets.

denomination : standard MPC denomination of the asteroid (string)

Name of the object. It follows the Minor Planet Centre convention for the minor planets. For bundle of observations that are not identified at the time of the data processing, the name is a string like Gaia-DR3SSO-<RN> where RN is a running number unique to the bundle. For the natural satellites of the major planets, its standard name is given followed by a string (XYY) where X is the first letter of the planetary system it belongs to, and YY is the number of the satellite in Roman numeral.

num_of_spectra : Number of epoch spectra used to compute the average (int)

Number of epoch spectra combined to generate the mean reflectance spectrum.