Going wild – some Gaia geek stuff


After  being in a project for some time, let’s round it in my case to 3 years and a half in Gaia, you really start to develop very specific and geeky humor, that probably only project related people may understand. So well, after making this sort of jokes with my colleagues, I finally decided that some precious geeky material should come from all this afterwards. So there are two different things: Gaia Bingo, for the all-look-the-same introduction part of most of the presentations about the project, and the typical What X thinks I’m doing…

As I don’t want to spoil anyone, explanations for non Gaia-ers go on the bottom of the post.

Gaia Bingo in order row, column:

  • (0,0) Even if you are not part of the project, event not remotely related… if you have ever heard about Gaia, this picture had to be involved somewhere… The artist who did that deserves a big amount of recognition… and huge amount of money, just if he was given 0.01€ for each time this image is used…
  • (0,1) Many of the talks, even if they don’t include the picture from (o,0), they end up mentioning that Gaia will mean a revolution in their fields…
  • (0, 2) A document of cult by Jos De Bruijne for all interested in the science mission performance. arXiv here.
  • (1, 0) Obvious is obvious…
  • (1, 1) Another classic one. I even had this image hung in front of my desk instead of kittens and puppies. 106 CCDs, almost 1 Gigapixels. Quite big, 0.5m × 1m. More information here.
  • (1, 2) DPAC = Data Processing and Analysis Consortium. Official description: International consortium in charge of Gaia data processing. Unofficial one: all of us who keeps hitting the keyboard hoping that Gaia will actually fly.
  • (2, 0) Another classic from Laurent Eyer, from Geneva group. It is quite cited in my field: object classification. I’m sorry to inform that the latest version has not been published anywhere, so just get in contact with me (or with Laurent directly) if you want to take a closer look
  • (2, 1) What would we do without knowing that all the previous efforts in astrometry will have their asses kicked by Gaia? 😎
  • (2, 2) Yes dear, Gaia will see a coin on Moon’s surface. For all of us who may wander how… of course not at a single glance… there will be a long (and probably painful) data re-re-re–re-processing and re-re-re-re-calibration before that happens.  Check this out in AGIS picture of the week.

What X thinks I’m doing… The first row is quite self-explanatory, so let’s move straight to the second one:

  • (1, 0) A CU is a coordination unit inside DPAC. Each one is carrying it’s own mission: system architecture, simulations, core processing, spectroscopic and photometric processing, etc. The interaction sometimes it gets tense, as there’s conflict of interests on each side.
  • (1, 1) the MareNostrum supercomputer in the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC). It is actually running some simulations for Gaia and will also take care or the Intermediate Data Updating processes.
  • (1, 2) The image is not of the best quality, so I should say that it’s Eclipse programming framework… with some dirty code in it.

Well, I hope you enjoyed it!

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