I. Dekany Abstract

A First View of Stellar Variability in the VVV ESO Public Survey

I. Dekany (Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile)

In recent years, large synoptic surveys have been providing growing evidence that the Milky Way has a complex bulge with a bar and an X-shaped structure in its outer parts, it shows a radial metallicity gradient, and a kinematic difference between the metal-poor and the metal-rich population. However, further investigation is needed to fully understand the structure and origin of the bulge. The VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea is a large synoptic survey of the bulge and an adjacent section of the disk, providing long-baseline deep time-series photometry in the near-infrared. VVV data enable us to detect primary distance indicators such as radial pulsators, and employ them for tracing the structure of our Galaxy. I will discuss the present status and prospects of the VVV variability campaign, and assess the detection rates of RR Lyrae stars. I will also show first results of mapping the bulge metal-poor population based on the combination of OGLE3 and VVV RR Lyrae light curves, and compare the obtained intrinsic reddening values with current extinction maps.