The Karl G. Jansky very large array sky survey (VLASS). Science case and survey design

M. Lacy*, S. A. Baum, C. J. Chandler, S. Chatterjee, T. E. Clarke, S. Deustua, J. English, J. Farnes, B. M. Gaensler, N. Gugliucci, G. Hallinan, B. R. Kent, A. Kimball, C. J. Law, T. J. W. Lazio, J. Marvil, S. A. Mao, D. Medlin, K. Mooley, E. J. MurphyS. Myers, R. Osten, G. T. Richards, E. Rosolowsky, L. Rudnick, F. Schinzel, G. R. Sivakoff, L. O. Sjouwerman, R Taylor, R. L. White, J. Wrobel, H. Andernach, A. J. Beasley, E. Berger, S. Bhatnagar, M. Birkinshaw, G. C. Bower, W. N. Brandt, S Brown, S. Burke-Spolaor, B. J. Butler, JB Comerford, P. B. Demorest, H. Fu, S. Giacintucci, K. Golap, T. Guth, C. A. Hales, R. Hiriart, J. Hodge, A. Horesh, Z. Ivezic, M. J. Jarvis, A. Kamble, N. Kassim, L. Loinard, X. Liu, D. K. Lyons, J Masters, M. Mezcua, G. A. Moellenbrock, T. Mroczkowski, K. Nyland, C. P. O'Dea, S. P. O'Sullivan, W. M. Peters, K. Radford, U Rao, J Robnett, J Salcido, Y Shen, Angela Sobotka, S. Witz, M. Vaccari, R. J. van Weeren, A Vargas, P. K.G. Williams, I Yoon, NVSS

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

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The Very Large Array Sky Survey (VLASS) is a synoptic, all-sky radio sky survey with a unique combination of high angular resolution ($\approx$2.5"), sensitivity (a 1$\sigma$ goal of 70 $\mu$Jy/beam in the coadded data), full linear Stokes polarimetry, time domain coverage, and wide bandwidth (2-4 GHz). The first observations began in September 2017, and observing for the survey will finish in 2024. VLASS will use approximately 5500 hours of time on the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) to cover the whole sky visible to the VLA (Declination $>-40^{\circ}$), a total of 33,885 deg$^2$. The data will be taken in three epochs to allow the discovery of variable and transient radio sources. The survey is designed to engage radio astronomy experts, multi-wavelength astronomers, and citizen scientists alike. By utilizing an "on the fly" interferometry mode, the observing overheads are much reduced compared to a conventional pointed survey. In this paper, we present the science case and observational strategy for the survey, and also results from early survey observations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number035001
Number of pages30
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number1009
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jan 2020


  • Radio continuum: general
  • Surveys

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