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Finding RR Lyrae Stars with SkyMapper: An Observational Test

Akhter, S. et al., 2013, Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, 30, e051 | View on ADS (2013PASA...30...51A)


One of the major science goals of the SkyMapper survey of the Southern Hemisphere sky is the determination of the shape and extent of the halo of the Galaxy. In this paper, we quantify the likely efficiency and completeness of the survey as regards the detection of RR Lyrae variable stars, which are excellent tracers of the halo stellar population. We have accomplished this via observations of the RR Lyrae-rich globular cluster NGC 3201. We find that for single-epoch uvgri observations followed by two further epochs of g, r imaging, as per the intended three-epoch survey strategy, we recover known RR Lyraes with a completeness exceeding 90%. We also investigate boundaries in the gravity-sensitive single-epoch two-colour diagram that yield high completeness and high efficiency (i.e., minimal contamination by non-RR Lyraes) and the general usefulness of this diagram in separating populations.

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