Mapping the Milky Way bulge with VVV. The deep J,Ks catalogue based on PSF photometry is now released

Published: 22 Aug 2019

The Milky Way Bulge PSF Photometry project provides a comprehensive census of the stellar populations of the inner ~300 deg^2 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 performing the PSF-fitting photometry on the J, Ks band images of the 196 survey tiles covering the Galactic bulge. The catalog 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 20 in Ks and 21 in the J band, this new photometric catalog allows studies of the stellar populations in the Milky Way bulge , their stellar ages and star formation history.

This data release 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 are 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.