Gaia group at the Warsaw University Astronomical Observatory was established in 2012 and is led by prof. Łukasz Wyrzykowski. The group consists of a diverse mix of senior and junior researchers working in or connected to the Astronomical Observatory at the University of Warsaw. Its members work on various branches of astronomy, connected to stellar variability, transients, black holes and dark matter. In particular, they look for objects of interest observed by Gaia, explore Gaia’s superb data and is conducting time-domain follow-up observations using various observatories such as the LCO network, REM, SMARTS, VLT, SALT or LT, as well as space observatories such as Swift and in the past, Spitzer. They also coordinate the operation of a network of small observatories within the OPTICON-RadioNET Pilot (ORP), including amateur astronomers. The group uses and develops the Black Hole-TOM service, and Cambridge Photometric Calibration Server to facilitate the observations and exchange of information about interesting time-domain astrophysical targets.
A large part of the group is actively involved in studies of gravitational microlensing events observed by Gaia and uses Gaia photometry and astrometry to study the nature of lenses, hoping to find numerous Galactic black holes. There is also a strong interest in extragalactic transients such as supernovae, tidal disruption events and flares occurring in the centres of distant galaxies. Group members are also involved in outreach activities, such as lectures and workshops for people of all ages.
Our main scientific collaborators are from Vilnius (LT), Cambridge (UK), Geneva (CH), Nova Gorica (SL), Heidelberg (GE), ESA (NL/SP), London (UK), Tel Aviv (IL), LCO (US).