Deriving star cluster parameters with convolutional neural networks
I. Age, mass, and size
Vilnius University Observatory, Saulėtekio Av. 3, 10257 Vilnius, Lithuania
2 Center for Physical Sciences and Technology, Saulėtekio Av. 3, 10257 Vilnius, Lithuania
Accepted: 14 November 2018
Context. Convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have been proven to perform fast classification and detection on natural images and have the potential to infer astrophysical parameters on the exponentially increasing amount of sky-survey imaging data. The inference pipeline can be trained either from real human-annotated data or simulated mock observations. Until now, star cluster analysis was based on integral or individual resolved stellar photometry. This limits the amount of information that can be extracted from cluster images.
Aims. We aim to develop a CNN-based algorithm capable of simultaneously deriving ages, masses, and sizes of star clusters directly from multi-band images. We also aim to demonstrate CNN capabilities on low-mass semi-resolved star clusters in a low-signal-to-noise-ratio regime.
Methods. A CNN was constructed based on the deep residual network (ResNet) architecture and trained on simulated images of star clusters with various ages, masses, and sizes. To provide realistic backgrounds, M 31 star fields taken from The Panchromatic Hubble Andromeda Treasury (PHAT) survey were added to the mock cluster images.
Results. The proposed CNN was verified on mock images of artificial clusters and has demonstrated high precision and no significant bias for clusters of ages ≲3 Gyr and masses between 250 and 4000 M⊙. The pipeline is end-to-end, starting from input images all the way to the inferred parameters; no hand-coded steps have to be performed: estimates of parameters are provided by the neural network in one inferential step from raw images.
Key words: methods: data analysis / methods: statistical / techniques: image processing / galaxies: individual: M 31 / galaxies: star clusters: general
© ESO 2019