Welcome to “Gaia Challenge”. With the Gaia satellite successfully launched and taking data, our goal is to test and improve our mass modelling methods from Jeans modelling and distribution function modelling to Schwarzschild modelling, M2M and others. To this end, we organised the first “Gaia Challenge” workshop in August 19th - 23th at the University of Surrey, UK.
The workshop revolved around a series of test problems (mock data) posted online in advance. Attendees were invited to apply their favourite methods to these mock data to recover the underlying gravitational potential and/or phase space distribution function. Building dynamically realistic mocks meant bringing together N-body simulators, dynamicists and the stellar population synthesis and dust extinction community. A key goal of this workshop - in addition to improving mass modelling techniques - was to facilitate the exchange of expertise between these communities and to foster longer term collaborations.
Gaia Challenge is a continuing project building mock data of ever increasing complexity, sophistication and realism. To post or try a test problem, please follow the links on the left. If you are planning to participate in setting up a test problem, or would like to use the test data, please read our publication policy.
The next workshop will be the 5th Gaia Challenge (9-13 September 2019, IAP, Paris).
SOC Justin Read, Mark Gieles & Daisuke Kawata