A maximum likelihood method to improve faint-source flux and color estimates

David W. Hogg, Edwin L. Turner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Flux estimates for faint sources or transients are systematically biased high because there are far more truly faint sources than bright. Corrections that account for this effect are presented as a function of signal-to-noise ratio and the (true) slope of the faint-source number-flux relation. The corrections depend on the source being originally identified in the image in which it is being photometered. If a source has been identified in other data, the corrections are different; a prescription for calculating the corrections is presented. Implications of these corrections for analyses of surveys are discussed; the most important is that sources identified at signal-to-noise ratios of 4 or less are practically useless.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)727-731
    Number of pages5
    JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
    Volume110
    Issue number748
    StatePublished - Jun 1998

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    color
    estimates
    signal-to-noise ratio
    signal to noise ratios
    method
    slopes

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Space and Planetary Science
    • Astronomy and Astrophysics

    Cite this

    A maximum likelihood method to improve faint-source flux and color estimates. / Hogg, David W.; Turner, Edwin L.

    In: Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, Vol. 110, No. 748, 06.1998, p. 727-731.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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