VISTA Milky Way public survey

Minniti, D.; Lucas, P.; Ahumada, A. V.; Zoccali, M.; Catelan, M.; Morelli, L.; Tapper, C.; Pignata, G.; Toledo, I.; Ruiz, M. T.; Carraro, G.; Casassus, S.; Bronfman, L.; Barbá, R. H.; Gamen, R.; Gieren, W.; Geisler, D.; Pietrzynski, G.; Mennickent, R. E.; Kurtev, R.; Borissova, J.; Mirabel, F.; Ivanov, V. D.; Saviane, I.; Vanzi, L.; Monaco, L.; Rejkuba, M.; Messineo, M.; Bedin, L.; Stephens, A.; Barbuy, B.; Bica, E.; Clariá, J. J.; CASU (VDFS) team, The; WFAU (VDFS) team, The; Emerson, J.; Drew, J.; López-Correidora, M.; Martin, E.; Goldman, B.; Gianinni, T.; Eisloeffel, J.; Groot, P.; Fabregat, J.; Hambly, N.; Longmore, A.; Walton, N.; de Grijs, R.; Hoare, M.; Schroeder, A.; Naylor, T.; Barlow, M.; Zijlstra, A.; White, G.; Gosling, A.; McGowan, K.; Adamson, A.; Bandyopadhyay, R.; Thompson, M.; Cropper, M.; Lucey, J.; Kerins, E.; Hodgkin, S. and Pinfield, D. (2009). VISTA Milky Way public survey. Revista Mexicana de Astronomía y Astrofísica, 35, pp. 263–264.

URL: http://www.astroscu.unam.mx/~rmaa/rmaa.html

Abstract

We propose a public IR variability survey, named \Vista Variables in the Vía Láctea" (V V V ), of the Milky Way bulge and an adjacent section of the mid-plane where star formation activity is high. This would take 1920 hours, covering ~ 109 point sources within an area of 520 sq deg, including 33 known globular clusters and ~ 350 open clusters. The final products will be a deep IR atlas in 5 passbands and a catalogue of ~ 106 variable point sources. These will produce a 3-D map of the surveyed region (unlike single-epoch surveys that only give 2-D maps) using well-understood primary distance indicators such as RR Lyrae stars. It will yield important information on the ages of the populations. The observations will be combined with data from MACHO, OGLE, EROS, VST, SPITZER, HST, CHANDRA, INTEGRAL, and ALMA for a complete understanding of the variable sources in the inner Milky Way. Several important implications for the history of the Milky Way, for globular cluster evolution, for the population census of the bulge and center, and for pulsation theory would follow from this survey.

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