35th Meeting of the AAS Division on Dynamical Astronomy, April 2004
Session 6 Asteroids \& TNOs
Oral, Thursday, April 22, 2004, 2:15-6:50pm,

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[6.08] Solar Sytem science with GAIA

F.M. Mignard (OCA)

The ESA astrometry mission is scheduled for a launch in 2010 with ambitious science objectives covering virtually every aspects of stellar and galactic astrophysics. With its two telescopes it can detect every sources down to the 20 mag and carry out astrometric measurements with a final accuracy of 10 microarcsecond at V=15.

Observation of solar system objects is one of the highlights in the science goals of the mission and should yield the astrometric and photometric observations of at least 500 000 minor planets, primarily in the main belt, although NEOs and Trojans will enter naturally in the observing list. This survey will be the largest ever undertaken for these sources and should yield an improvement in the orbital parameters by one to two orders of magnitude, the determination of the masses of about 100 objects and a completely revised taxonomic classification thanks to the 11-band photometers.

The physical parameters, like the shape, orientation of the spin axis and the period of revolution will be also ascertained from the typical 150 individual observations sampled over the five years of the mission.

In this presentation, I will briefly describe the observational principles of Gaia, its organization and schedule and summarize its wide impact in solar system science.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: mailto: francois.mignard@obs-nice.fr

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 #2
© 2004. The American Astronomical Soceity.