“Solar System science before and after Gaia”
Pisa, Italy, May 4-6

To focus the planetology community on the scientific possibilities
that will arise as a result of Gaia observations of the Solar System,
preparing their scientific exploitation

you can click on following links to reach the items:

October 11 : 1st announcement
November 15 : 2nd announcement, registration opens
March 18 : deadline for registration and abstract submission.
April 4 : final announcement to registered participants, preliminary program
May 4-6 : workshop
July 29 : tentative submission deadline proceedings


Scientific rationale

The Gaia mission of the European Space Agency is scheduled for launch in late 2012. Among an impressive amount of achievements in many branches of modern Astrophysics, Gaia is also expected to produce a major advancement in the disciplines related to the dynamical and physical properties of the minor bodies in our Solar system.

By performing a systematic survey of the whole sky down to magnitude V = 20, Gaia will be able to survey through repeated observations spanning over 5 years several 100,000s asteroids. It will directly measure sizes of about 1,000 objects, obtain the masses of about 100 of them, derive spin properties and overall shapes of more than 10,000 objects, yield much improved orbits and taxonomic classification for most of the observed sources. The final results will also include direct measurements of tiny radiative effects on small bodies, in particular of
the Yarkovsky effect acting on near-Earth objects, and the measurement of tiny relativistic effects on the motion of some of these bodies. An impressive improvement of orbit accuracy for know objects will also become possible (by at least two order of magnitude). Low activity distant comets and low elongation Earth crossers could also be discovered.

Given the above expectations, we organize a meeting aimed at informing the scientific community active in asteroid science about the unprecedented opportunities offered by the Gaia mission. The goal of this meeting is twofold: on one hand to spread information and awareness about Gaia; on the other hand, to organize future activities and collaboration, in order to best exploit the observations that Gaia will perform.

- the Gaia mission and its impact on Solar System science;
- opportunities provided by probable intermediate data releases;
- impact on future ground-based observational activities;
- complementary sources of data (other surveys) and joint data exploitation;
- organization of future activities (ESF GREAT programme, other initiatives)


Please note that the workshop will start at 9.30 am on May 4. Thanks to fundings by the ESF, cofee breaks and lunches (May 4 and 5) will be offered to the participants. The workshop will finish before 1 pm on May 6, so a lunch on site will not be offered. Participants will find restaurants, cafes, etc. in the surroundings.

The general organization of the conference will be as follows:

Wednesday, May 4

9:00 Reception of the participants at the conference site

9:40 Communications from the LOC
9:50 F. Mignard - The Gaia mission
10:20 P. Tanga - The impact of Gaia on Solar System science
10:50 A. Dell'Oro - Observations of asteroids on the Gaia astrometric focal plane

11:10 coffee break

11:30 W. Thuillot - Ground-based follow up of asteroids observed by Gaia
11:50 D. Bancelin - Near Earth Asteroid astrometry with Gaia
12:10 M. Todd - An optimal search strategy for Trojan asteroids and science follow-up of Gaia alerts with the Zadko telescope, Western Australia

13:00 lunch

14:30 K. Muinonen - Asteroid orbital inversion using Markov-chain Monte Carlo methods
15:00 D. Hestroffer - Global effects on asteroid dynamics
15:20 A. Fienga - Use of asteroids for the improvement of planetary ephemerides
15:40 H. Varvoglis - Constraining asteroid dynamical models using Gaia data

16:00 coffee break

16:20 B. Carry - Shape models and densities of asteroids in the post-Gaia era
16:40 F. Colas - Measuring asteroid densities

17:00-17:30 Discussion: Gaia mission, alerts, asteroid dynamics

Thursday, May 5

9:30 A. Cellino - Asteroid physical properties from Gaia
10:00 P. Pravec - Near-Earth and small main-belt binary asteroids, their population and properties
10:30 A. Carbognani - The representation of asteroid shapes: a test for the inversion of Gaia photometry
10:50 J. Hanus - The potential of combined sparse photometric data in asteroid shape modelling

11:10 coffee break

11:30 H. Campins - Colors of asteroid families
12:00 M. Delbo - Asteroid spectroscopy and unsupervised classification from Gaia data
12:20 J. Gayon-Markt - Mineralogical classification of asteroids before and after Gaia
12:40 F. DeMeo - Observations motivated by SDSS colors relevant to Gaia

13:00 lunch

14:50 M. Mueller - Age of asteroid surfaces from Gaia and WISE
15:10 P. Paolicchi - Spin vectors of asteroids: ideas and (needed) data
15:30 D. Oszkiewicz - Asteroid physical and dynamical properties from Lowell Observatory photometric database
15:50 J.E. Arlot - The astrometry of the natural planetary satellites applied to their dynamics before and after Gaia

16:10 coffee break

16:30 K. Muinonen - Gaia Research for European Astronomy Training (GREAT)
16:50 Discussion: physical studies. Organizing future activities in the frame of GREAT: propositions

Social dinner

Friday, May 6

9:30 M.W. Buie - Occultations and duplicity constraints on Gaia
10:00 B. Sicardy - Probing Trans-Neptunian Objects with stellar occultations
10:20 G. Tancredi - The size distribution of TNOS and the implications for the discovery of large members and the prediction of occultations
10:40 L. Beauvalet - Constraining Pluto's system with Gaia

11:00 coffee break

11:20 G.P. Tozzi - Observability of comets with Gaia
11:40 H. Rickman - Gaia and the new comets from the Oort cloud

12:00 - 12:45 - final discussion: occultations, comets. Future actions. Meeting summary.




The conference is based on invited/solicited talks, with limited space for short contributions. A title and an abstract of the proposed contributions should be submitted on the web page available for registration.


A. Cellino (INAF/Torino obs., Italy)
H. Campins (University of Central Florida, USA)
F. Mignard (Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur, France)
K. Muinonen (University of Hensinki, Finland)
P. Paolicchi (Dept. of Physics, Pisa University, Italy)
H. Rickman (Uppsala Astronomical Observatory, Sweden)
P. Tanga - chair (Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, France)
W. Thuillot (IMCCE, Observatoire de ParisFrance)

A. Dell'Oro (INAF/Torino obs., Italy)
P. Paolicchi (Dept. of Physics, Pisa University, Italy)
S. Rousset (Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, France)


Meeting place :

University of Pisa, Italy, conference room of the National Nuclear Physics Institute.

Room 9131, Dipartimento di Fisica / INFN, Largo Pontecorvo 3, 56127 Pisa

The town is efficiently connected to all destinations by its international airport; it is also on a main railway line. Being a world-wide known town famous for its artistic, historical
and touristic attractions, a wide choice of hotels of all categories is available. The epoch of the conference does not correspond to high touristic season, nevertheless it is suggested to make hotel reservations as early as possible.

View Pisa - Gaia meeting in a larger map

How to reach meeting location:

- By car : It is not recommended to come via car. There are many restrictions to the circulation in the town. Moreover the various interesting sites are at walking distances. However, if you arrive by the motorway you should take either "Pisa Nord" or "Pisa Sud" exits, then follow the arrows on the above map to reach the car park closest to the meeting location.

- From the Airport is located 1 km from downtown: Bus and taxi are the best choices for going down town, while trains are rather infrequent. Please note that Pisa airport is in a nearly unique situation, being at 20 min walking distance from the main railway station. Bus line “LAM red”, (see timetable and map), stop at the railway station and then change to bus line 4 or “LAM green”.

- From the railway station: bus line “LAM green” just outside Department of Physics (direction “Stazione FS”) (see timetable and map)

In town, bus is the best choice if you don't like to walk. Bus tickets can be obtained at an automated vendor machine at the airport, close to bus stop. In town, they can be bought at many tobacconist shops and some newspapers kiosks.

Links: public transports in Pisa (CPT).


Convenient fares have been negotiated with the "Hotel Cecile", www.hotelcecile.it: 60 Euros for a double room for 1 person. To put a reservation there, please drop an e-mail to hotelcecile@virgilio.it mentioning "Meeting - M. Paolicchi".
You can find several other hotels here. However, keep in mind that May is a busy tourist season in Pisa, so put your reservation as soon as possible. Several months in advance you can find interesting reduced fares.

More touristic information at http://www.provincia.pisa.it/

Registration (CLOSED)

A maximum of about 40 participants is foreseen: current list of participants


S. Rousset, P. Tanga - May 13, 2011