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# Characterizing the astrometric errors in the Gaia catalogue Berry Holl

Characterizing the astrometric errors in the Gaia catalogue Berry Holl

Terminologyxis a measured or derived quantity (e.g. parallax of a star):erroruncertaintye = x − x trueRandom variability in measurement.unknown~knownDescribed by probability distributioncharacterized by e.g. mean, standard deviation, skewness etc.Normally estimated quite well:- by repeating (assuming identical experiments),- observation process knowledge (e.g. photons Poisson statistics).biasNonzero mean in probability distribution.often unknownIf assumed zero leads to systematic errors.These are difficult to determine by repeating the experiment(e.g. observing Castor while you should be observing Pollux)31Why we need to understand errorsEssential for interpreting data, examples:proper motion of stars in clusterData points + standard uncertaintyDetermine membershipy = µ i− excluding iσ diffOutcome does not critically depend onuncertainty (e.g. +/- 10% does not change result)valueCompute velocity dispersion (excl. 4)1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10data pointσ 2 computed = σ2 intrinsic + σ2 dataIf the latter two are of similar size, the datauncertainties need to be very well known.Depending on the application uncertainties can be of crucial importance!32

150uncorrelated1+,correlation coefficient 0.814014,13013,Parallax p 2 [μas]12011010090807060σ = 10σ = 105050 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 150 1Parallax p 1 [μas]!"#"\$\$"%&' ! &&(")* 212,11,1,,0,/,.,-,σ = 10σ = 10+,+, -, ., /, 0, 1,, 11, 12, 13, 14, 1+, 1!"#"\$\$"%&' " &&(")*706050403020σ = 14.1difference = 2 − 110Difference p2 - p1 [μas]0−10−20−30−40−50−60−70σ =7.170 80 90 100 110 120 130Mean value (p 1 + p 2 )/2 [μas]mean = ( 1 + 2 )/2 233706050403020Difference p2 - p1 [μas]10σ =6.3difference = 2 − 10−10−20−30−40−50−60−70σ =9.570 80 90 100 110 120 130Mean value (p 1 + p 2 )/2 [μas]mean = ( 1 + 2 )/2Introduction to astrometry & GaiaImportance of error characterizationResults of my work

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