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. Bhatnager, M. Birkinshaw, G. C. Bower, W. N. Brandt, S. Brown, S. Burke-Spolaor, B. J. Butler, J. Comerford, P. B. Demorest, H. Fu, S. Giacintucci, K. Golap, T. Güth, C. A. Hales, R. Hiriart, J. Hodge, A. Horesh, Ivezić, M. J. Jarvis, A. Kamble, N. Kassim, X. Liu, L. Loinard, 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, A. Sobotka, S. Witz, M. Vaccari, R. J. van Weeren, A. Vargas, P. K.G. Williams, I. Yoon

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372 Scopus citations


The Very Large Array Sky Survey (VLASS) is a synoptic, all-sky radio sky survey with a unique combination of high angular resolution (≈2.″5), sensitivity (a 1σ goal of 70 μJy/beam in the coadded data), full linear Stokes polarimetry, time domain coverage, and wide bandwidth (2–4 GHz). The first observations began in 2017 September, and observing for the survey will finish in 2024. VLASS will use approximately 5500 hr of time on the Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) to cover the whole sky visible to the VLA (decl. > −40°), a total of 33 885 deg2. 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 (US)
Article number035001
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number1009
StatePublished - Mar 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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