The Gaia space mission has been providing a transformational view of the Milky Way: thanks to its exquisite astrometric precision, Gaia is measuring parallax distances and proper motions of billion Milky Way stars, thus allowing to probe immensely better the 6-dimensional phase space of our Galaxy, which in turn permits much more precise mass-orbit modeling of the Galaxy at various scales.
The series of Gaia Challenge workshops aims to bring together specialists to compare and improve their algorithms to answer fundamental questions that precise astrometric observations provide: the mass distribution and internal kinematics of
Such analyses will allow us to understand the distribution of dark matter, i.e. its density profile from inner to outer scales, its flattening near the galactic disk, its shape beyond the disk, and its clumpiness. These analyses also return the internal kinematics of stars at various scales. In turn, these mass distributions and stellar kinematics will allow us to test standard gravity, constrain the nature of dark matter particles, as well as understand the mass assembly of the Milky Way and the formation of globular clusters.