Difference image analysis: The interplay between the photometric scale factor and systematic photometric errors
Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, Qatar Foundation, PO Box 5825, Doha, Qatar
Received: 5 March 2015
Accepted: 9 April 2015
Context. Understanding the source of systematic errors in photometry is essential for their calibration.
Aims. We investigate how photometry performed on difference images can be influenced by errors in the photometric scale factor.
Methods. We explore the equations for difference image analysis (DIA), and we derive an expression describing how errors in the difference flux, the photometric scale factor and the reference flux are propagated to the object photometry.
Results. We find that the error in the photometric scale factor is important, and while a few studies have shown that it can be at a significant level, it is currently neglected by the vast majority of photometric surveys employing DIA.
Conclusions. Minimising the error in the photometric scale factor, or compensating for it in a post-calibration model, is crucial for reducing the systematic errors in DIA photometry.
Key words: techniques: photometric / techniques: image processing / methods: data analysis
© ESO, 2015