A New Method for Deriving the Stellar Birth Function of Resolved Stellar Populations.

Gennaro, M., Tchernyshyov, K., Brown, T. M., & Gordon, K. D.
2015, The Astrophysical Journal, 808, 45

We present a new method for deriving the stellar birth function (SBF) of resolved stellar populations. The SBF (stars born per unit mass, time, and metallicity) is the combination of the initial mass function (IMF), the star formation history (SFH), and the metallicity distribution function (MDF). The framework of our analysis is that of Poisson Point Processes (PPPs), a class of statistical models suitable when dealing with points (stars) in a multidimensional space (the measurement space of multiple photometric bands). The theory of PPPs easily accommodates the modeling of measurement errors as well as that of incompleteness. Our method avoids binning stars in the color-magnitude diagram and uses the whole likelihood function for each data point; combining the individual likelihoods allows the computation of the posterior probability for the population's SBF. Within the proposed framework it is possible to include nuisance parameters, such as distance and extinction, by specifying their prior distributions and marginalizing over them. The aim of this paper is to assess the validity of this new approach under a range of assumptions, using only simulated data. Forthcoming work will show applications to real data. Although it has a broad scope of possible applications, we have developed this method to study multi-band Hubble Space Telescope observations of the Milky Way Bulge. Therefore we will focus on simulations with characteristics similar to those of the Galactic Bulge. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at STScI, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.


ADS Citation Query
# citations = 2
citations vs. year [year,citations]
Citations by year

Copyright © 2012 Karl D. Gordon All Rights Reserved