Context. The second Gaia data release (DR2) contains very precise astrometric and photometric properties for more than one billion sources, astrophysical parameters for dozens of millions, radial velocities for millions, variability information for half a million stars from selected variability classes, and orbits for thousands of solar system objects.
Aims: Before the catalogue was published, these data have undergone dedicated validation processes. The goal of this paper is to describe the validation results in terms of completeness, accuracy, and precision of the various Gaia DR2 data.
Methods: The validation processes include a systematic analysis of the catalogue content to detect anomalies, either individual errors or statistical properties, using statistical analysis and comparisons to external data or to models.
Results: Although the astrometric, photometric, and spectroscopic data are of unprecedented quality and quantity, it is shown that the data cannot be used without dedicated attention to the limitations described here, in the catalogue documentation and in accompanying papers. We place special emphasis on the caveats for the statistical use of the data in scientific exploitation. In particular, we discuss the quality filters and the consideration of the properties, systematics, and uncertainties from astrometry to astrophysical parameters, together with the various selection functions.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- August 2018
- stars: fundamental parameters;
- techniques: radial velocities;
- stars: variables: general;
- minor planets;
- asteroids: general;
- Astrophysics - Astrophysics of Galaxies;
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics
- Submitted to A&