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Paper: The ESA-GAIA Mission: Not Only Astrometry.
Volume: 451, 9th Pacific Rim Conference on Stellar Astrophysics
Page: 317
Authors: Dennefeld, M.
Abstract: The GAIA satellite, a fundamental mission from the European Space Agency, has as main task, to provide a complete three-dimensional map of our Galaxy down to about 20th magnitude. During its 5 years lifetime, it will provide a complete and repeated sky coverage, each region of the sky being observed about 80 times on average. This repeatability provides the opportunity to detect photometric, spectroscopic, and astrometric variations of individual objects. An Alert system is being designed, to trigger ground-based follow-up of transient objects by the community. Preliminary estimates show that one can expect several tens of thousands of RR Lyrae stars, a few thousands of Cepheids, hundreds of Novae and Supernova, and of course millions of "ordinary" variables stars, without forgetting close to a million of variable AGN's and quasars. While not all those objects will be released as Alerts, this nevertheless offers a unique opportunity for many "small" telescopes (e.g. in the range of 0.5 to 3 m diameter) to significantly contribute to the classification and ground-based follow-up of this wealth of objects.
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