Data Analysis

This page covers what you might need to do to your data in order to extract science from it, and follows from the basic data reduction steps which are covered elsewhere.

Unless your data is part of a larger project, it is more than likely that you'll have to do much of your own thinking about how to approach the analysis that needs to be done. We hope that the information given here can help you on your way.

Whole packages

  • IRAF
  • GIPSY - currently undergoing a significant upgrade - click on link to find out more
  • Starlink: DATACUBE, GAIA 3D

Specific analysis steps

  • Exploring/visualising your data cube: work out what measurements need to be made and how to make them
  • Line fitting/measuring: make measurements on the whole data-set (e.g. emission line fitting), and maybe convert these to physical values (e.g. line ratios to density, line wavelengths to velocity).
  • Map out the results: use the position file to relate spectrum number to physical location
  • Extracting and Fitting Sources: extract interesting targets (e.g. individual star clusters) or fit spatial features (e.g. a surrounding galaxy) in order to separate out the interesting source (e.g. the AGN core)

These tasks are general to most types of astronomy that IFS is taken for. There will be, of course, more specific types of analyses performed. This would include: crowded field spectroscopy (e.g. trying to separate sources or features, disentangling faint and bright features; fitting continuum spectra of isolated sources (e.g. specific parts of a galaxy); deconvolution, (e.g. using a high spatial resolution HST images, from which individual star clusters are separated, to separate the same cluster on an IFS cube of lower spatial resolution); cross-correlation to determine velocities (e.g. galaxy rotation curves). These tasks are too specific to (yet, at least) be included in this wiki, but we always welcome contributions. If you know something that is not included here, please consider making a contribution.

(Note: rebinning/regridding of the spatial plane was dealt with in the data reduction pages.)

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