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Selection Functions in Astronomical Data Modeling, with the Space Density of White Dwarfs as a Worked Example

  • Authors: Hans-Walter Rix, David W. Hogg, Douglas Boubert, Anthony G. A. Brown, Andrew Casey, Ronald Drimmel, Andrew Everall, Morgan Fouesneau, and Adrian M. Price-Whelan

2021 The Astronomical Journal 162 142.

  • Provider: AAS Journals

Caption: Figure 8.

Comparison of the cleaned sample of likely WDs, ﹩{N}_{{ \mathcal C }}({M}_{G},(B-R))﹩ (left, with units [mag−2 ]) with the modeled white dwarf LCF, Φ0(MG, (BR)) (center, with units [mag−2 pc−3]). The (MG, (BR)) domain covered by both distributions is of course the same. Yet, the density peaks of ﹩{N}_{{ \mathcal C }}({M}_{G},(B-R))﹩ and of Φ0(MG, (BR)) are in dramatically different places in the (MG, (BR)) plane. The reason is that the two distributions differ by the selection function integral (expressed here via Veff), which is shown in the right panel; in the case at hand the selection function ends up being only a function of MG, not (MG, (BR)); the survey volume in the top-right corner of the (MG, (BR)) plane is zero, as such objects were excluded by the initial Gaia parent catalog query.

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