Stellar Variability in the VVV survey

The Vista Variables in the V\’ia L\’actea (VVV) ESO Public Survey is an ongoing time-series, near-infrared (IR) survey of the Galactic bulge and an adjacent portion of the inner disk, covering 562 square degrees of the sky, using ESO’s VISTA telescope. The survey has provided superb multi-color photometry in 5 broadband filters ($Z$, $Y$, $J$, $H$, and $K_s$), leading to the best map of the inner Milky Way ever obtained, particularly in the near-IR. The main variability part of the survey, which is focused on $K_s$-band observations, is currently underway, with bulge fields having been observed between 31 and 70 times, and disk fields between 17 and 36 times. When the survey is complete, bulge (disk) fields will have been observed up to a total of 100 (60) times, providing unprecedented depth and time coverage. Here we provide a first overview of stellar variability in the VVV data, including examples of the light curves that have been collected thus far, scientific applications, and our efforts towards the automated classification of VVV light curves.

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Date added: Wed, 9 Oct 13