Stellar Population Inference with Prospector

2 Dec 2020  ·  Benjamin D. Johnson, Joel Leja, Charlie Conroy, Joshua S. Speagle ·

Inference of the physical properties of stellar populations from observed photometry and spectroscopy is a key goal in the study of galaxy evolution. In recent years the quality and quantity of the available data has increased, and there have been corresponding efforts to increase the realism of the stellar population models used to interpret these observations... Describing the observed galaxy spectral energy distributions in detail now requires physical models with a large number of highly correlated parameters. These models do not fit easily on grids and necessitate a full exploration of the available parameter space. We present prospector, a flexible code for inferring stellar population parameters from photometry and spectroscopy spanning UV through IR wavelengths. This code is based on forward modeling the data and Monte Carlo sampling the posterior parameter distribution, enabling complex models and exploration of moderate dimensional parameter spaces. We describe the key ingredients of the code and discuss the general philosophy driving the design of these ingredients. We demonstrate some capabilities of the code on several datasets, including mock and real data. read more

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Astrophysics of Galaxies Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics