Gaia relies on the proven principles of ESA's Hipparcos mission to help solve one of the most difficult yet deeply fundamental challenges in modern astronomy: the creation of an extraordinarily precise three-dimensional map of about one billion stars throughout our Galaxy and beyond. This massive stellar census provides the basic observational data to tackle an enormous range of important problems related to the origin, structure, and evolutionary history of our Galaxy. The Gaia mission delivers an astronomical catalogue and data archive of unprecedented scope, accuracy and completeness. The Gaia satellite was launched at the end of 2013, this early third data release is based on observations spanning a period of 34 months (or 668 days). Gaia EDR3 represents a significant advance over Gaia DR2, with parallax precisions increased by 30 per cent, proper motion precisions increased by a factor of 2, and the systematic errors in the astrometry suppressed by 30–40% for the parallaxes and by a factor ∼2.5 for the proper motions. The photometry also features increased precision, but above all much better homogeneity across colour, magnitude, and celestial position. More information is available at https://www.cosmos.esa.int/web/gaia/dr3.
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Gaia , astrometry , photometry , catalog , variable sources
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