Author(s): , , , , ,
Institution(s): 1. Institute of Astrophysics, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile
ω Centauri (NGC 5139) is by far the most massive globular star cluster in the Milky Way, and has even been suggested to be the remnant of a dwarf galaxy. As such, it contains a large number of variable stars of different classes. Here we report on a deep, wide-field, near-infrared variability survey of omega Cen, carried out by our team using ESO's 4.1m VISTA telescope. Our time-series data comprise 42 and 100 epochs in J and Ks, respectively. This unique dataset has allowed us to derive complete light curves for hundreds of variable stars in the cluster, and thereby perform a detailed analysis of the near-infrared period-luminosity (PL) relations for different variability classes, including type II Cepheids, SX Phoenicis, and RR Lyrae stars. In this contribution, in addition to describing our survey and presenting the derived light curves, we present the resulting PL relations for each of these variability classes, including the first calibration of this sort for the SX Phoenicis stars. Based on these relations, we also provide an updated (pulsational) distance modulus for omega Cen, compare with results based on independent techniques, and discuss possible sources of systematic errors.