Thursday, July 15, 2010

Big Day

The day started out with an email from Beth with the above subject line, and a HUGE to-do list. Needless to say, it's been an incredibly productive day.

Here's what happened:

1. Running the debugged (!!!) Search Algorithm: Beth debugged that code like a total pro yesterday, and this morning, the Search Algorithm was working exactly as it should. I ran some tests to make sure this was SUPER true, which it was.

2. Matching detections to input galaxies: I added to an output analysis file that looks at the detections and how they match with the inserted fakes. Now, not only does this file tell us which fakes were detected, but it also outputs a data structure with information on those detections. Info includes: distance to detected galaxy, distance modulus filter used to detect galaxy, peak signal, area of detection [sq arcmin], and area of galaxy at half-light radius [sq arcmin].

3. Analyzing output data with figures: With this information, I began making plots that analyzed this data. As the fakes become stealthier and the data more robust, this code will easily adapt.

4. Making stealthier galaxies: We started out with galaxies with half-light radii of 200 pc, which isn't very stealthy at all, but was good while writing code and running tests. Now, we're using galaxies with half-light radii of 1683 pc -- the size of And XIX. Now detectability will no longer be as certain.

5. Odds and ends. I edited some code which output the average number of stars per degree during the search process. I cleaned up a few files. I made a directory for my SDSS files...

Up next: Making galaxies even stealthier. Or, rather, making the background more realistic. Right now, we're placing these stealths in only 10% of the RCS2 background data. With 100% of the data, these simulated galaxies will be MUCH harder to detect.

And that's all until next week! Tomorrow the gang goes rafting!

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