10th VVV Science meeting

SOC: Dante Minniti, Phil Lucas, Jura Borissova, Roberto Saito, Javier Alonso Garcia

LOC: André-Nicolas Chené, Terry Lee, Joyce Pullen
For any questions, contact vvv10@gemini.edu.

The 10th VVV Science meeting will be held in the town of Hilo, on the Big Island, Hawaii, on 19-22 Aug 2019. 

Sponsoring Institution: Gemini Observatory

Scientific Rationale

For the past 10 years (!!!), the ESO Public Survey VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV), and its second phase, the VVV eXtended Survey (VVVX), have been mapping the IR variability of the Milky Way bulge and southern mid-plane (vvvsurvey.org). Within the existing 562 deg2 covered by the VVV area, we are producing a 5-D map of the surveyed region by combining positions, distances and proper motions of well-understood distance indicators such as red clump stars, RR Lyrae and Cepheid variables in order to unveil the inner structure of the Milky Way. The VVV+VVVX catalogues, covering in total 1700 deg2 in total,currently in their first forms, will complement those from the Gaia space mission with very red sources and will feed spectroscopic targets for the forthcoming ESO high-multiplex spectrographs MOONS and 4MOST. For multi-wavelength analysis, VVV+VVVX can be coupled with ATLASGAL, GLIMPSE, DECAPS, UKIDSS-GPS, Gaia, VPHAS, Chandra X-ray, and other Galacitic surveys. In the time domain, it can be coupled with ZTF, LSST, IPAC/Neowise, OGLE and TESS/K2.

The Meeting is being planned to include contributed talks, poster sessions and group discussions on High-Level Science Products, and coordinating with other surveys.

Conference poster

Full size jpeg

Full size pdf

On the cultural references in this poster


Sunday Aug 18

17:00 : Welcome cocktail at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel!

Monday Aug 19

Session I : VVV and VVVX updates

09:00 – 09:30: Registration

09:30 – 09:40: André-Nicolas Chené : “Welcome to the meeting”
09:40 – 10:00: Dante Minniti and Philip Lucas : “Introduction to VVV(X) survey (description, goals, highlights) ” (presentation)
10:00 – 10:30: Maren Hempel: “Almost done-  update on the observing campaign and data reduction for VVV & VVVX” (abstract) (presentation)

10:30 – 11:00: Coffee break

11:00 – 11:10: Carlos Gonzalez-Fernandez: “Updates from CASU” (abstract) (presentation)
11:10 – 11:40: Javier Alonso-García: “A VVV/VVV-X update on its view of the innermost Milky Way” (abstract) (presentation)
11:40 – 12:10: Maria Gabriela Navarro: “VVV Microlensing events, current status and future work” (abstract) (presentation)
12:10 – 12:40: Francesco Mauro: “Introducing the new photometric python3 package SkZpipe” (abstract) (presentation)

12:30 – 14:00: Lunch break

14:00 - 15:30: DISCUSSION (Topics - Surveys, Public release, Archives, Pipelines, High Level products, Synergy with different surveys)

15:30 – 16:00: Coffee break

16:00 - 17:00: Breakout session (Time to work on collaborations, publications)

Tuesday Aug 20

Session II : Time domain

09:00 – 09:30: Leigh Smith: “VVV/VVVX Astrometry and Light Curves: Progress Towards VIRAC2” (abstract) (presentation)
09:30 – 10:00: Chien-Hsiu Lee: “Alert broker for ZTF and LSST, time-domain” (abstract) (presentation)
10:00 – 10:30: Roberto Kalbusch Saito: “WIT objects in the VVV Survey” (abstract) (presentation)

10:30 – 11:00: Coffee break

Session III : Variability

11:00 – 11:30: Ignacio Becker: “Scalable End-to-end Recurrent Neural Network for Variable star Classification” (abstract) (presentation)
11:30 – 12:00: Philip Lucas: “Extreme variables in VVV: the complete sample with DeltaKs>4” (abstract) (presentation)
12:00 – 12:30: Zhen Guo: “Spectroscopic variability of VVV eruptive variable YSOs” (abstract) (presentation)

12:30 – 14:00: Lunch break

14:00 – 15:30: DISCUSSION (Topics - Time Domain Astronomy, Multi-Messenger (follow-ups), Variability, Light curves analysis)

15:30 – 16:00: Coffee break

16:00 - 17:00: Breakout session (Time to work on collaborations, publications)

18:00: Dinner at 'Imiloa. 

Wednesday Aug 21

Session IV : Stellar populations, star clusters and Galactic structure

09:00 – 09:30: Karla Peña Ramírez: “Revisiting VVV(X) open clusters ” (abstract) (presentation)
09:30 – 10:00: Sebastián Ramírez Alegría: “High-mass stars on VVV Clusters” (abstract) (presentation)
10:00 – 10:30: Alexandre Roman Lopes: “Massive stars in the SDSS-IV/APOGEE2-S SURVEY” (abstract) (presentation)

10:30 – 11:00: Coffee break

11:00 – 11:30: Dante Minniti: "Globular custers" (abstract) (presentation)
11:30 - 12:00: Robert Benjamin: “Evidence for Spiral Structure in the Milky Way” (abstract) (presentation)

12:00 – 13:30: Lunch break

13:30 – 15:00: DISCUSSION (Topics - CMDs, Stellar population, Galactic structures)

15:00 – 15:30: Coffee break

15:30 - 16:30: DISCUSSION (Topic - Our outreach strategies)

16:30 – 17:00: Summary and Final Conclusions
17:00 – End of the workshop

Registered participants

  • Javier Alonso-García (Universidad de Antofagasta / MAS)
  • Ignacio Becker (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
  • Robert Benjamin (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Jordanka Borissova (Universidad de Valparaíso) - Remote
  • Maria Gabriela Navarro (Università di Roma "La Sapienza”)
  • Carlos Gonzalez-Fernandez (University of Cambridge) - remote
  • Zhen Guo (University of Hertfordshire)
  • Maren Hempel (Universidad Andres Bello)
  • Chien-Hsiu Lee (National Optical Astronomy Observatory)
  • Philip Lucas (University of Hertfordshire)
  • Francesco Mauro (Universidad Católica del Norte)
  • Dante Minniti (Universidad Andrés Bello, Millennium Institute of Astrophysics, Vatican Observatory)
  • Joyce Pullen (Millennium Institute of Astrophysics)
  • Karla Peña Ramírez (Universidad de Antofagasta)
  • Sebastián Ramírez Alegría (Universidad de Antofagasta)
  • Alexandre Roman Lopes (Universidad de La Serena)
  • Roberto Kalbusch Saito (Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina)
  • Leigh Smith (University of Cambridge) - Remote

Maunakea Observatories participants

  • Geoff Bower (ASIAA)
  • Mike Connelley (Institute for Astronomy)
  • Atsuko Nitta (Gemini Observatory)
  • Tae-Soo Pyo (Subaru Telescope)
  • Mirko Simunovic (Subary Telescope)
  • Watson Varricatt (UKIRT)
  • Siyi Xu (Gemini Observatory)

Registration (CLOSED)

Registration fees are:

  • 100$ for Students and Postdocs (for the first 10 registered)
  • 150$ for Faculty-like positions

Please fill the Registration form before 30 June, 2019.

Also, send your abstract before 15 July, 2019.

Maximum attendees limited to 45 participants.


Student/post doc registration special discount is available only to the first ten (10) students/postdocs to register and pay. The $150 registration fee will apply to those following.

For any other payments than Paypal, you will be contacted with the instructions within a week after you have submitted your registration form.

No new payment will be accepted.


Hilo is a town on Hawai'i, commonly called the Big Island, in the state of Hawai'i. It’s known for Wailuku River State Park, featuring Waianuenue, or Rainbow Falls, with its colorful mist effects. The bubbling basalt-lava rock pools known as the Boiling Pots are nearby. To the south is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, home to rainforests and the active Kilauea and Mauna Loa volcanoes.

Hilo also is the home base of 10 of the 12 observatories atop the volcano Maunakea. 

The United Airline flight from Los Angeles to Hilo is the only direct flight coming from the U.S. mainland. However, you also have two other options. One is to transit through Honolulu (which has flights coming from many places in the world), and get the last leg to Hilo served by Hawaiian Airlines. The other is to fly to Kona via a direct flight from many cities in the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Korea.

Rooms have been reserved at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel with preferential rates (135.00$/night + taxes).
Address: 71 Banyan Dr, Hilo, HI 96720
Phone: +1 (808) 935-9361
Webpage: https://www.castleresorts.com/big-island/hilo-hawaiian-hotel/

The conference will be held at the Gemini Observatory Hilo Base Facility
Address: 670 N. A'ohoku Place
Phone: +1 (808) 974-2500

It is highly recommended to arrange transportation ahead of time. There are many car rental options in Hilo.

Here is a Visitor's Guide we share with our observers, in case it helps!

Enjoy this Google map of the island with places to eat, visit, see, etc.

Social events

Welcome cocktail: A registration booth will be set Sunday at 5pm next to the bar at the Hilo Hawaiian Hotel.

Conference dinner: There will be a conference dinner on Tuesday at 6pm at the 'Imiloa Center (walking distance from Gemini). There is no additional charge for those attending the dinner.

Summit tour: Due to unforseen events, the summit tour on 22 Aug has been cancelled.

U.S.A. Visa 

Hawai'i is a state of the United States of America. To verify if you need a visa to enter the U.S.A., you can use the Visa Wizard. More information can be found on the U.S. Department of State page. For more details about how to apply your visa, please contact your local U.S.A. Consulate or Embassy. 

If you need an invitation letter for your visa, please send your request to vvv10@gemini.edu.