Early science from the Pan-STARRS1 Optical Galaxy Survey (POGS): Maps of stellar mass and star formation rate surface density obtained from distributed-computing pixel-SED fitting
To measure resolved galactic physical properties unbiased by the mask of recent star formation and dust features, we are conducting a citizen-scientist enabled nearby galaxy survey based on the unprecedented optical (g,r,i,z,y) imaging from Pan-STARRS1 (PS1). The PS1 Optical Galaxy Survey (POGS) covers 3π steradians (75% of the sky), about twice the footprint of SDSS. Whenever possible we also incorporate ancillary multi-wavelength image data from the ultraviolet (GALEX) and infrared (WISE, Spitzer) spectral regimes. For each cataloged nearby galaxy with a reliable redshift estimate of z < 0.05 - 0.1 (dependent on donated CPU power), publicly-distributed computing is being harnessed to enable pixel-by-pixel spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting, which in turn provides maps of key physical parameters such as the local stellar mass surface density, crude star formation history, and dust attenuation. With pixel SED fitting output we will then constrain parametric models of galaxy structure in a more meaningful way than ordinarily achieved. In particular, we will fit multi-component (e.g. bulge, bar, disk) galaxy models directly to the distribution of stellar mass rather than surface brightness in a single band, which is often locally biased. We will also compute non-parametric measures of morphology such as concentration, asymmetry using the POGS stellar mass and SFR surface density images. We anticipate studying how galactic substructures evolve by comparing our results with simulations and against more distant imaging surveys, some of which which will also be processed in the POGS pipeline. The reliance of our survey on citizen-scientist volunteers provides a world-wide opportunity for education. We developed an interactive interface which highlights the science being produced by each volunteer’s own CPU cycles. The POGS project has already proven popular amongst the public, attracting about 5000 volunteers with nearly 12,000 participating computers, and is growing rapidly.
American Astronomical Society Meeting Abstracts #223
- Pub Date:
- January 2014