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GaiaNIR – A future all-sky astrometry mission

  • David Hobbs (a1) and Erik Høg (a2)

Abstract

With the launch of Gaia in December 2013, Europe entered a new era of space astrometry following in the footsteps of the very successful Hipparcos mission. A weakness of Gaia is that it only operates at optical wavelengths. However, much of the Galactic centre and the spiral arm regions are obscured by interstellar extinction. An obvious improvement on Gaia is to include the Near-Infra-Red (NIR) which requires the use of new types of detectors. Additionally, to scan the entire sky and measure global absolute parallaxes the spacecraft must have a constant rotation resulting in a moving image that must be compensated for by, for example, operating the detectors in Time Delayed Integration (TDI) mode. If these technical issues can be solved a new Gaia-like mission separated by a 20 year interval would give; 1) NIR all-sky astrometry and photometry to penetrate the obscured regions and to observe intrinsically red objects with almost diffraction limited resolution; 2) improved proper motions with fourteen times smaller errors than from Gaia alone opening up new science cases, such as long period exoplanets and accurate halo measurements; 3) allow the slowly degrading accuracy of the Gaia reference frame, which will be the basis for future astronomical measurements, to be reset.

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Copyright

References

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Hobbs, D. et al. 2016, arXiv - http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2016arXiv160907325H
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GaiaNIR – A future all-sky astrometry mission

  • David Hobbs (a1) and Erik Høg (a2)

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