Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sanity Check

I've been debugging my program for the last few days without much success. I've sent some preliminary testing results to Tim, but the results are definitely not good.

Here are two main problems I noticed:
-The point source finder is too sensitive. It detects almost anything that is greater than thresh*sigma. Unfortunately, there are many pixels in the picture that seem rather "grainy" and are registered as false point sources. I need to somehow eliminate these false point sources.
-The range of delta mags (contrast) for the contrast curves are way too small. The delta mags themselves are also high values, often hovering just below 0. This indicates that my program is not finding too much contrast within the annuli of the star compared to the central flux of the star, which seems intuitively wrong. However, this is most likely caused by the small size of the cropped image. The small images size makes my program calculate the background noise as part of the annulus of the star, which is incorrect as there is light pollution from the star. The problem is somewhat fixed when I increase the size of the cropped image; however, compared to Justin's results the delta mags still seem too small.

Professor Johnson suggested I do some sanity checks on my math yesterday, and I've been trying to figure out what really is going on with the math behind the contrast curves.

I'll post some more if I find anything interesting, but for now, it is just alone time for me and a buggy program.

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