High energy gamma-ray sources in the VVV survey - II. The AGN counterparts

Laura G. Donoso, Ana Pichel, Laura D. Baravalle, M. Victoria Alonso, Eduardo O. Schmidt, Dante Minniti, Nicola Masetti, Leigh C. Smith, Philip W. Lucas, Carolina Villalon, Adrián C. Rovero, Georgina Coldwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We identified Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) candidates as counterparts to unidentified gamma-ray sources (UGS) from the Fermi-LAT Fourth Source Catalogue at lower Galactic latitudes. Our methodology is based on the use of near- and mid-infrared photometric data from the VISTA Variables in the Vía Láctea (VVV) and Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) surveys. The AGN candidates associated with the UGS occupy very different regions from the stars and extragalactic sources in the colour space defined by the VVV and WISE infrared colours. We found 27 near-infrared AGN candidates possibly associated with 14 Fermi-LAT sources using the VVV survey. We also found 2 blazar candidates in the regions of 2 Fermi-LAT sources using WISE data. There is no match between VVV and WISE candidates. We have also examined the Ks light curves of the VVV candidates and applied the fractional variability amplitude (σrms) and the slope of variation in the Ks passband to characterise the near-infrared variability. This analysis shows that more than 85 per cent of the candidates have slopes in the Ks passband >10−4 mag/day and present σrms values consistent with a moderate variability. This is in good agreement with typical results seen from type-1 AGN. The combination of YJHKs colours and Ks variability criteria was useful for AGN selection, including its use in identifying counterparts to Fermi γ-ray sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1019-1034
Number of pages16
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2024


  • catalogues
  • galaxies: active
  • infrared: galaxies
  • surveys

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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