GNU Astronomy Utilities

8.1 MakeProfiles

MakeProfiles will create mock astronomical profiles from a catalog, either individually or together in one output image. In data analysis, making a mock image can act like a calibration tool, through which you can test how successfully your detection technique is able to detect a known set of objects. There are commonly two aspects to detecting: the detection of the fainter parts of bright objects (which in the case of galaxies fade into the noise very slowly) or the complete detection of an over-all faint object. Making mock galaxies is the most accurate (and idealistic) way these two aspects of a detection algorithm can be tested. You also need mock profiles in fitting known functional profiles with observations.

MakeProfiles was initially built for extra galactic studies, so currently the only astronomical objects it can produce are stars and galaxies. We welcome the simulation of any other astronomical object. The general outline of the steps that MakeProfiles takes are the following:

  1. Build the full profile out to its truncation radius in a possibly over-sampled array.
  2. Multiply all the elements by a fixed constant so its total magnitude equals the desired total magnitude.
  3. If --individual is called, save the array for each profile to a FITS file.
  4. If --nomerged is not called, add the overlapping pixels of all the created profiles to the output image and abort.

Using input values, MakeProfiles adds the World Coordinate System (WCS) headers of the FITS standard to all its outputs (except PSF images!). For a simple test on a set of mock galaxies in one image, there is no need for the third step or the WCS information.

However in complicated simulations like weak lensing simulations, where each galaxy undergoes various types of individual transformations based on their position, those transformations can be applied to the different individual images with other programs. After all the transformations are applied, using the WCS information in each individual profile image, they can be merged into one output image for convolution and adding noise.