skip to main content

Search for: All records

Creators/Authors contains: "Finkbeiner, Douglas P."

Note: When clicking on a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) number, you will be taken to an external site maintained by the publisher. Some full text articles may not yet be available without a charge during the embargo (administrative interval).
What is a DOI Number?

Some links on this page may take you to non-federal websites. Their policies may differ from this site.

  1. Abstract

    We present a new python package sarabande for measuring 3- and 4-point correlation functions (3/4 PCFs) in $\mathcal {O} (N_{\mathrm{g}}\log N_{\mathrm{g}})$ time using fast Fourier transforms (FFTs), with Ng being the number of grid points used for the FFT. sarabande can measure both projected and full 3-point correlation function and 4-point correlation function on gridded two- and three-dimensional data sets. The general technique is to generate suitable angular basis functions on an underlying grid, radially bin these to create kernels, and convolve these kernels with the original gridded data to obtain expansion coefficients about every point simultaneously. These coefficients are then combined to give us the 3/4 PCF as expanded in our basis. We apply sarabande to simulations of the interstellar medium to show the results and scaling of calculating both the full and projected 3/4 PCFs.

  2. Abstract

    Photometric pipelines struggle to estimate both the flux and flux uncertainty for stars in the presence of structured backgrounds such as filaments or clouds. However, it is exactly stars in these complex regions that are critical to understanding star formation and the structure of the interstellar medium. We develop a method, similar to Gaussian process regression, which we term local pixel-wise infilling (LPI). Using a local covariance estimate, we predict the background behind each star and the uncertainty of that prediction in order to improve estimates of flux and flux uncertainty. We show the validity of our model on synthetic data and real dust fields. We further demonstrate that the method is stable even in the crowded field limit. While we focus on optical-IR photometry, this method is not restricted to those wavelengths. We apply this technique to the 34 billion detections in the second data release of the Dark Energy Camera Plane Survey. In addition to removing many >3σoutliers and improving uncertainty estimates by a factor of ∼2–3 on nebulous fields, we also show that our method is well behaved on uncrowded fields. The entirely post-processing nature of our implementation of LPI photometry allows it to easily improvemore »the flux and flux uncertainty estimates of past as well as future surveys.

    « less
  3. Abstract

    Deep optical and near-infrared imaging of the entire Galactic plane is essential for understanding our Galaxy’s stars, gas, and dust. The second data release of the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) Plane Survey extends the five-band optical and near-infrared survey of the southern Galactic plane to cover 6.5% of the sky, ∣b∣ ≤ 10°, and 6° >> −124°, complementary to coverage by Pan-STARRS1. Typical single-exposure effective depths, including crowding effects and other complications, are 23.5, 22.6, 22.1, 21.6, and 20.8 mag ing,r,i,z, andYbands, respectively, with around 1″ seeing. The survey comprises 3.32 billion objects built from 34 billion detections in 21,400 exposures, totaling 260 hr open shutter time on the DECam at Cerro Tololo. The data reduction pipeline features several improvements, including the addition of synthetic source injection tests to validate photometric solutions across the entire survey footprint. A convenient functional form for the detection bias in the faint limit was derived and leveraged to characterize the photometric pipeline performance. A new postprocessing technique was applied to every detection to debias and improve uncertainty estimates of the flux in the presence of structured backgrounds, specifically targeting nebulosity. The images and source catalogs are publicly available at

  4. For decades we have known that the Sun lies within the Local Bubble, a cavity of low-density, high-temperature plasma surrounded by a shell of cold, neutral gas and dust. However, the precise shape and extent of this shell, the impetus and timescale for its formation, and its relationship to nearby star formation have remained uncertain, largely due to low-resolution models of the local interstellar medium. Leveraging new spatial and dynamical constraints from the Gaia space mission, here we report an analysis of the 3D positions, shapes, and motions of dense gas and young stars within 200 pc of the Sun. We find that nearly all the star-forming complexes in the solar vicinity lie on the surface of the Local Bubble and that their young stars show outward expansion mainly perpendicular to the bubble's surface. Tracebacks of these young stars' motions support a scenario where the origin of the Local Bubble was a burst of stellar birth and then death (supernovae) taking place near the bubble's center beginning 14 Myr ago. The expansion of the Local Bubble created by the supernovae swept up the ambient interstellar medium into an extended shell that has now fragmented and collapsed into the most prominentmore »nearby molecular clouds, in turn providing robust observational support for the theory of supernova-driven star formation.« less
  5. Accurate distances to local molecular clouds are critical for understanding the star and planet formation process, yet distance measurements are often obtained inhomogeneously on a cloud-by-cloud basis. We have recently developed a method that combines stellar photometric data with Gaia DR2 parallax measurements in a Bayesian framework to infer the distances of nearby dust clouds to a typical accuracy of ∼5%. After refining the technique to target lower latitudes and incorporating deep optical data from DECam in the southern Galactic plane, we have derived a catalog of distances to molecular clouds in Reipurth (2008, Star Formation Handbook, Vols. I and II) which contains a large fraction of the molecular material in the solar neighborhood. Comparison with distances derived from maser parallax measurements towards the same clouds shows our method produces consistent distances with ≲10% scatter for clouds across our entire distance spectrum (150 pc−2.5 kpc). We hope this catalog of homogeneous distances will serve as a baseline for future work.