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Paper: Gaia, Stellar Populations and the Distance Scale
Volume: 514, Stellar Populations and the Distance Scale
Page: 89
Authors: Clementini, G.; Garofalo, A.; Muraveva, T.; Ripepi, V.
Abstract: We discuss the impact that Gaia, a European Space Agency (ESA) cornerstone mission that has been in scientific operations since July 2014, is expected to have on the definition of the cosmic distance ladder and the study of resolved stellar populations in and beyond the Milky Way, specifically focusing on results based on Cepheids and RR Lyrae stars. Gaia is observing about 1.7 billion sources, measuring their positions, trigonometric parallaxes, proper motions and time-series photometry in 3 pass-bands down to a faint magnitude limit of G ∼ 21 mag. Among them are thousands of Cepheids and hundreds of thousands of RR Lyrae stars. After five years of mission operations the parallax errors are expected to be about 10 microarcsec for sources brighter than V ∼ 12, 13 mag. This will allow an accurate re-calibration of the fundamental relations that make RR Lyrae stars and Cepheids primary standard candles of the cosmic distance ladder and will provide a fresh view of the systems and structures that host these classical pulsators. Results for Cepheids and RR Lyrae stars published in Gaia Data Release 1 (DR1) are reviewed along with some perspectives on Gaia DR2, scheduled for 25 April 2018, which will contain parallaxes based only on Gaia measurements and a first mapping of full-sky RR Lyrae stars and Cepheids.
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