Variable stars in the Quintuplet stellar cluster with the VVV survey
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The Quintuplet cluster is one of the most massive star clusters in the Milky Way, situated very close to the Galactic Centre. We present a new search for variable stars in the vicinity of the cluster, using the five-year data base of the Vista Variables in the Via Lactea (VVV) ESO Public Survey in the near-infrared. A total of 7586 objects were identified in the zone around 2 arcmin from the cluster centre, using 55 K-S-band epochs. 33 stars show K-S-band variability, 24 of them being previously undiscovered. Most of the variable stars found are slow/semiregular variables, long-period variables of the Mira type, and OH/IR stars. In addition, a good number of our candidates show variations in a rather short time-scale. We also propose four young stellar object candidates, which could be cluster members.