Distances and parallax bias in Gaia DR2

, , and . (2019)cite arxiv:1902.02355Comment: 14 pages, 13 figures The derived distances, as well as stellar positions and kinematics are found at https://zenodo.org/record/2557803.


We derive Bayesian distances for all stars in the RV sample of Gaia DR2, and use the statistical method of Schoenrich, Binney & Asplund(2012) to validate the distances and test the Gaia parallaxes. In contrast to other methods, which rely on special sources, our method directly tests the distances to all stars in our sample. We find clear evidence for a near-linear trend of distance bias f with distance s, proving a parallax offset delta p. On average, we find delta p = 0.054 mas (parallaxes in Gaia DR2 need to be increased) when accounting for the parallax uncertainty under-estimate in the Gaia set (delta p = 0.048 mas on the raw parallax errors) with negligible formal error and a systematic uncertainty of about 0.006 mas. The value is in concordance with results from asteroseismic measurements, but differs from the much lower bias found on quasar samples. We further use our method to compile a comprehensive set of quality cuts in colour, apparent magnitude, and astrometric parameters. Last, we find that for this sample delta p appears to strongly depend on the parallax uncertainty sigma_p (when including the additional 0.043 mas) with a statistical confidence far in excess of 10and a proportionality factor close to 1, though the dependence varies somewhat with sigma_p. Correcting for the sigma_p dependence also resolves otherwise unexplained correlations of the offset with the number of observation periods n_vis and ecliptic latitude.


Distances and parallax bias in Gaia DR2

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