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Inside Catalogs: A Comparison of Source Extraction Software

Annunziatella, M. and Mercurio, A. and Brescia, M. and Cavuoti, S. and Longo, G. (2013) Inside Catalogs: A Comparison of Source Extraction Software. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 125 (923). pp. 68-82. ISSN 0004-6280. doi:10.1086/669333.

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The scope of this article is to compare the catalog extraction performances obtained using the new combination of SExtractor with PSFEx against the more traditional and diffuse application of DAOPHOT with ALLSTAR; therefore, the paper may provide a guide for the selection of the most suitable catalog extraction software. Both software packages were tested on two kinds of simulated images, having a uniform spatial distribution of sources and an overdensity in the center, respectively. In both cases, SExtractor is able to generate a deeper catalog than DAOPHOT. Moreover, the use of neural networks for object classification plus the novel SPREAD_MODEL parameter push down to the limiting magnitude the possibility of star/galaxy separation. DAOPHOT and ALLSTAR provide an optimal solution for point-source photometry in stellar fields and very accurate and reliable PSF photometry, with robust star/galaxy separation. However, they are not useful for galaxy characterization and do not generate catalogs that are very complete for faint sources. On the other hand, SExtractor, along with the new capability to derive PSF photometry, turns out to be competitive and returns accurate photometry for galaxies also. We can report that the new version of SExtractor, used in conjunction with PSFEx, represents a very powerful software package for source extraction with performances comparable to those of DAOPHOT. Finally, by comparing the results obtained in the cases of a uniform and of an overdense spatial distribution of stars, we notice for both software packages a decline for the latter case in the quality of the results produced in terms of magnitudes and centroids.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription DOIArticle
Brescia, M.0000-0001-9506-5680
Cavuoti, S.0000-0002-3787-4196
Longo, G.0000-0002-9182-8414
Additional Information:© 2013 The Astronomical Society of the Pacific. Received 2012 September 17; accepted 2012 December 03; published 2013 January 8. Authors wish to thank the referee R. Laher for his positive comments and suggestions. The present work has been carried out by an intensive exploitation of software packages DAOPHOT II with ALLSTAR, and SExtractor with PSFEx. The authors wish to thank E. Bertìn for useful and helpful suggestions during the work, mainly related on the new unstable versions of the software. AM and MB wish to thank the financial support of PRIN-INAF 2010, Architecture and Tomography of Galaxy Clusters. The authors also wish to thank the financial support of Project F.A.R.O. III Tornata (P.I. Dr. M. Paolillo, University Federico II of Naples). MB acknowledges the financial support from the PRIN MIUR 2009: Gamma Ray Bursts: dai progenitori alla Fisica del processo dell’emissione “prompt”.
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Subject Keywords:Data Analysis and Techniques
Issue or Number:923
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20130225-074704125
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Official Citation:Inside Catalogs: A Comparison of Source Extraction Software(pp. 68-82) M. Annunziatella, A. Mercurio, M. Brescia, S. Cavuoti, and G. Longo DOI: 10.1086/669333 Stable URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:37097
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:25 Feb 2013 16:44
Last Modified:09 Nov 2021 23:26

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