PHYS366: Statistical Methods in Astrophysics

Before we start, let's see:

What is this course about, and how is it going to work?

Lesson 1: Exploring Data

Goals for this session:

  • Familiarize ourselves with 3 types of astronomical data: images, object catalogs, and reported measurements
  • Remember some summary statistics (and maybe learn some new ones) and put them into practice
  • Build a generative model, and simulate some data with it

Ivezic Chapter 1, sections 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.5, and Chapter 3, section 3.2.

Example 1: X-ray Image

Telescopes have cameras that record images.

Example 2: SDSS Catalog

Images get processed into automated detections and measurements of astronomical objects, which are then catalogued.

Example 3: Cepheid Measurements

Measurements of the properties of astronomical objects, and their error bars, are reported for further use.

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