SELFI: an object-based, Bayesian method for faint emission line source detection in MUSE deep field data cubes⋆
1 Grenoble Image Parole Signal Automatique, UMR CNRS 5216 – Université de Grenoble, 38400 Saint Martin d’Hères, France
2 Centre de Recherche Astrophysique de Lyon, UMR 5574, 9 avenue Charles-André, 69230 Saint Genis Laval, France
Received: 10 November 2015
Accepted: 15 January 2016
We present SELFI, the Source Emission Line FInder, a new Bayesian method optimized for detection of faint galaxies in Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) deep fields. MUSE is the new panoramic integral field spectrograph at the Very Large Telescope (VLT) that has unique capabilities for spectroscopic investigation of the deep sky. It has provided data cubes with 324 million voxels over a single 1 arcmin2 field of view. To address the challenge of faint-galaxy detection in these large data cubes, we developed a new method that processes 3D data either for modeling or for estimation and extraction of source configurations. This object-based approach yields a natural sparse representation of the sources in massive data fields, such as MUSE data cubes. In the Bayesian framework, the parameters that describe the observed sources are considered random variables. The Bayesian model leads to a general and robust algorithm where the parameters are estimated in a fully data-driven way. This detection algorithm was applied to the MUSE observation of Hubble Deep Field-South. With 27 h total integration time, these observations provide a catalog of 189 sources of various categories and with secured redshift. The algorithm retrieved 91% of the galaxies with only 9% false detection. This method also allowed the discovery of three new Lyα emitters and one [OII] emitter, all without any Hubble Space Telescope counterpart. We analyzed the reasons for failure for some targets, and found that the most important limitation of the method is when faint sources are located in the vicinity of bright spatially resolved galaxies that cannot be approximated by the Sérsic elliptical profile.
Key words: methods: data analysis / methods: statistical
© ESO, 2016