Variable stars in the VVV globular clusters. I. 2MASS-GC 02 and Terzan 10

Javier Alonso-García, István Dékány, Márcio Catelan, Rodrigo Contreras Ramos, Felipe Gran, Pía Amigo, Paul Leyton, Dante Minniti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


The VISTA Variables in the Vía Láctea (VVV) ESO Public Survey is opening a new window to study inner Galactic globular clusters (GCs) using their variable stars. These GCs have been neglected in the past due to the difficulties caused by the presence of elevated extinction and high field stellar densities in their lines of sight. However, the discovery and study of any present variables in these clusters, especially RR Lyrae stars, can help to greatly improve the accuracy of their physical parameters. It can also help to shed some light on the questions raised by the intriguing Oosterhoff dichotomy in the Galactic GC system. In a series of papers we plan to explore variable stars in the GCs falling inside the field of the VVV survey. In this first paper, we search for and study the variables present in two highly reddened, moderately metal-poor, faint, inner Galactic GCs: 2MASS-GC 02 and Terzan 10. We report the discovery of sizable populations of RR Lyrae stars in both GCs. We use near-infrared period-luminosity relations to determine the color excess of each RR Lyrae star, from which we obtain both accurate distances to the GCs and the ratios of the selective-to-total extinction in their directions. We find the extinction toward both clusters to be elevated, non-standard, and highly differential. We also find both clusters to be closer to the Galactic center than previously thought, with Terzan 10 being on the far side of the Galactic bulge. Finally, we discuss their Oosterhoff properties, and conclude that both clusters stand out from the dichotomy followed by most Galactic GCs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number99
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2015


  • globular clusters: general
  • globular clusters: individual (2MASS-GC 02, Terzan 10)
  • stars: variables: RR Lyrae
  • stars: variables: general

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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