Durham University

Department of Physics

Staff profile

Publication details for Prof Richard Massey

Dobke, Benjamin M., Johnston, David E., Massey, Richard, High, F. William, Ferry, Matt, Rhodes, Jason & Vanderveld, R. Ali (2010). Astronomical Image Simulation for Telescope and Survey Development. Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific 122(894): 947-954.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

We present the simage software suite for the simulation of artificial extragalactic images, based empirically around real observations of the Hubble Ultra Deep Field. The simulations reproduce galaxies with realistic and complex morphologies via the modeling of UDF galaxies as shapelets. Images can be created in the B, V, i and z bands for both space- and ground-based telescopes and instruments. The simulated images can be produced for any required field size, exposure time, PSF, telescope mirror size, pixel resolution, field star density, and a variety of detector noise sources. It has the capability to create images with either a predetermined number of galaxies, or one calibrated to the number counts of preexisting data sets such as the HST COSMOS survey. In addition, simple options are included to add a known weak gravitational lensing signal (both shear and flexion) to the simulated images. The software is available in IDL and can be freely downloaded for scientific, developmental, and teaching purposes.