Data Release: Mapping the Milky Way bulge with VVV

Published: 20 Aug 2019

The Milky Way Bulge PSF Photometry project provides a comprehensive census of the stellar populations of the inner ~300 square degrees of the Galaxy, using J and Ks band observations obtained with VIRCAM on VISTA from the VVV ESO Public Survey. The main scientific product of this data release is a deep and accurate photometric catalogue of ~ 600 million sources that result from PSF-fitting on the J and Ks band images of the 196 survey tiles covering the Galactic bulge. The catalogue contains photometric completeness and reddening information. Imaging products and the respective single band source lists are also provided with the release. With a limiting magnitude of 21 in the J band and 20 in Ks, this new photometric catalogue allows studies of the stellar populations in the Milky Way bulge, as well as their stellar ages and star formation history. 

This first data release (DR1) is coordinated with Surot et al. (2019, A&A, 629 , 1) and represents a very valuable scientific resource for the entire community. The catalogue records are accessible via both the Catalogue Query Interface and the programmatic access service. The whole content of the  Phase 3 MW-BULGE-PSFPHOT DR1 release, both catalogue and VISTA imaging products, are available via the Archive Science Portal as well as programmatically.

More detailed information on the release content is available in the release documentation. By accessing the MW-BULGE-PSFPHOT DR1 release, the ESO community benefits from joint efforts by ESO, the PIs of the VISTA public survey projects and their collaborators, including CASU.