Gaia Data Release 2: Properties and validation of the radial velocities

D. Katz, P. Sartoretti, M. Cropper, P. Panuzzo, G. M. Seabroke, Y. Viala, K. Benson, R. Blomme, G. Jasniewicz, A. Jean-Antoine, H. Huckle, M. Smith, S. Baker, F. Crifo, Y. Damerdji, M. David, C. Dolding, Y. Frémat, E. Gosset, A. GuerrierL. P. Guy, R. Haigron, K. Janßen, O. Marchal, G. Plum, C. Soubiran, F. Thévenin, M. Ajaj, C. Allende Prieto, C. Babusiaux, S. Boudreault, L. Chemin, C. Delle Luche, C. Fabre, A. Gueguen, N. C. Hambly, Y. Lasne, F. Meynadier, F. Pailler, C. Panem, F. Royer, G. Tauran, C. Zurbach, T. Zwitter, F. Arenou, D. Bossini, J. Gerssen, A. Gomez, V. Lemaitre, N. Leclerc, T. Morel, U. Munari, C. Turon, A. Vallenari, M. Žerjal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

For Gaia DR2 (GDR2), 280 million spectra, collected by the RVS instrument on-board Gaia, were processed and median radial velocities were derived for 9.8 million sources brighter than Grvs = 12 mag. This paper describes the validation and properties of the median radial velocities published in GDR2. Quality tests and filters are applied to select, from the 9.8 million radial velocities, those with the quality to be published in GDR2. The accuracy of the selected sample is assessed with respect to ground-based catalogues. Its precision is estimated using both ground-based catalogues and the distribution of the Gaia radial velocity uncertainties. GDR2 contains median radial velocities for 7 224 631 stars, with Teff in the range [3550, 6900] K, which passed succesfully the quality tests. The published median radial velocities provide a full sky-coverage and have a completness with respect to the astrometric data of 77.2\% (for $G \leq 12.5$ mag). The median radial velocity residuals with respect to the ground-based surveys vary from one catalogue to another, but do not exceed a few 100s m/s. In addition, the Gaia radial velocities show a positive trend as a function of magnitude, which starts around Grvs $\sim 9$ mag and reaches about $+500$ m/s at Grvs $= 11.75$ mag. The overall precision, estimated from the median of the Gaia radial velocity uncertainties, is 1.05 km/s. The radial velocity precision is function of many parameters, in particular the magnitude and effective temperature. For bright stars, Grvs in [4, 8] mag, the precision is in the range 200-350 m/s, which is about 3 to 5 times more precise than the pre-launch specification of 1 km/s. At the faint end, Grvs = 11.75 mag, the precisions for Teff = 5000 K and 6500 K are respectively 1.4 km/s and 3.7 km/s.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberA205
JournalAstronomy & Astrophysics
Early online date21 Feb 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Feb 2019

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • astro-ph.IM


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