VVV Survey:About

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The Project

Vista Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV)[1] is a public IR variability survey of the Milky Way bulge and an adjacent section of the mid-plane where star formation activity is high. It will take 1929 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.


Our Team is composed by around 90 astronomers, and the Principal Investigators are Dante Minniti (DAA, PUC) and Philip Lucas (Centre for Astrophysics Research, University of Hertfordshire).

The complete list of members is here

Scientific Goals

  1. To find RR Lyrae in the bulge
  2. To identify variable stars belonging to known star clusters
  3. To find eclipsing binaries in large numbers
  4. To find rare variable sources
  5. To search for microllensing events
  6. To monitor the variability around the Galactic Center
  7. To search for new star clusters
  8. To provide complementary IR multicolour information
  9. To find variables stars in the Sgr dwarf
  10. To identify high proper motion objects and background QSOs


  1. VVV Survey Description from the Survey Management Plan
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