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There are six large public surveys being conducted by VISTA: UltraVISTA, VIKING: VISTA Kilo-Degree Infrared Galaxy Survey, VMC: VISTA Magellanic Survey, VVV: VISTA Variables in the Via Lactea, VHS: VISTA Hemisphere Survey, VIDEO: VISTA Deep Extragalactic Observations Survey. These will take up the majority of the observing time in the telescope’s first five years of operations. The surveys cover different areas of sky to different depths to attack a wide range of scientific questions.
The Vista Variables in the Via Lactea Survey (VVV) is the public ESO near-IR variability survey scanning the Milky Way bulge and adjacent section of the disk. The survey observations are being carried with the ESO 4-m VISTA telescope during years 2010 to 2016, covering a billion point sources across an area of 562 deg2. The final product will be a deep near-IR atlas in five passbands (0. 9 to 2.