By Francesca De Angeli, in collaboration with Marco Riello, Gregory Holland, Patrick Burgess and Paul Osborne.
This article is part of our series: A day in the software life, in which researchers from all disciplines discuss the tools that make their research possible.
On 19 December 2013, at 09:12:19 UTC, a spacecraft containing the Gaia satellite was launched from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana. The Gaia satellite reached its stable operational orbit around L2 (approximately 1.5 million km from the Earth) about one month later. Since then, a continuous stream of data has been downloaded for further processing on ground. This data includes broad-band photometry and low-resolution spectra for all sources brighter than magnitude 20 and high-resolution spectra for sources brighter than magnitude 16.
The Gaia focal-plane assembly is the largest ever developed for a space application, with…Continue Reading