Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) Catalog of Periodic Variable Stars

Xiaodian Chen*, Shu Wang, Licai Deng, Richard de Grijs, Ming Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    68 Citations (Scopus)


    We have compiled the first all-sky mid-infrared variable-star catalog based on Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer five-year survey data. Requiring more than 100 detections for a given object, 50,282 carefully and robustly selected periodic variables are discovered, of which 34,769 (69%) are new. Most are located in the Galactic plane and near the equatorial poles. A method to classify variables based on their mid-infrared light curves is established using known variable types in the General Catalog of Variable Stars. Careful classification of the new variables results in a tally of 21,427 new EW-type eclipsing binaries, 5654 EA-type eclipsing binaries, 1312 Cepheids, and 1231 RR Lyrae. By comparison with known variables available in the literature, we estimate that the misclassification rate is 5% and 10% for short- and long-period variables, respectively. A detailed comparison of the types, periods, and amplitudes with variables in the Catalina catalog shows that the independently obtained classifications parameters are in excellent agreement. This enlarged sample of variable stars will not only be helpful to study Galactic structure and extinction properties, but can also be used to constrain stellar evolution theory and provide potential candidates for the James Webb Space Telescope.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number28
    Pages (from-to)1-13
    Number of pages13
    JournalThe Astrophysical journal supplement series
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


    • catalogs
    • distance scale
    • Galaxy: disk
    • Galaxy: structure
    • infrared: stars
    • stars: variables: general


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