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Journal Articles The Astrophysical Journal Year : 2023

The Art of Measuring Physical Parameters in Galaxies: A Critical Assessment of Spectral Energy Distribution Fitting Techniques

Camilla Pacifici
  • Function : Author
Kartheik G. Iyer
  • Function : Author
Bahram Mobasher
  • Function : Author
Elisabete da Cunha
  • Function : Author
Viviana Acquaviva
  • Function : Author
Gabriela Calistro Rivera
  • Function : Author
Adam C. Carnall
  • Function : Author
Yu-Yen Chang
  • Function : Author
Nima Chartab
  • Function : Author
Kevin C. Cooke
  • Function : Author
Ciaran Fairhurst
  • Function : Author
Jeyhan Kartaltepe
  • Function : Author
Joel Leja
  • Function : Author
Brett Salmon
  • Function : Author
Marianna Torelli
  • Function : Author
Médéric Boquien
  • Function : Author
Gabriel G. Brammer
  • Function : Author
Michael J. I. Brown
  • Function : Author
Peter L. Capak
  • Function : Author
Chiara Circosta
  • Function : Author
Darren Croton
  • Function : Author
Iary Davidzon
  • Function : Author
Mark Dickinson
  • Function : Author
Kenneth J. Duncan
  • Function : Author
Sandra M. Faber
  • Function : Author
Harry C. Ferguson
  • Function : Author
Adriano Fontana
  • Function : Author
Yicheng Guo
  • Function : Author
Boris Haeussler
  • Function : Author
Shoubaneh Hemmati
  • Function : Author
Marziye Jafariyazani
  • Function : Author
Susan A. Kassin
  • Function : Author
Rebecca L. Larson
  • Function : Author
Bomee Lee
  • Function : Author
Kameswara Bharadwaj Mantha
  • Function : Author
Francesca Marchi
  • Function : Author
Hooshang Nayyeri
  • Function : Author
Jeffrey A. Newman
  • Function : Author
Viraj Pandya
  • Function : Author
Janine Pforr
  • Function : Author
Naveen Reddy
  • Function : Author
Ryan Sanders
  • Function : Author
Ekta Shah
  • Function : Author
Abtin Shahidi
  • Function : Author
Matthew L. Stevans
  • Function : Author
Dian Puspita Triani
  • Function : Author
Krystal D. Tyler
  • Function : Author
Brittany N. Vanderhoof
  • Function : Author
Alexander de la Vega
  • Function : Author
Weichen Wang
  • Function : Author
Madalyn E. Weston
  • Function : Author

Abstract

The study of galaxy evolution hinges on our ability to interpret multiwavelength galaxy observations in terms of their physical properties. To do this, we rely on spectral energy distribution (SED) models, which allow us to infer physical parameters from spectrophotometric data. In recent years, thanks to wide and deep multiwave band galaxy surveys, the volume of high-quality data have significantly increased. Alongside the increased data, algorithms performing SED fitting have improved, including better modeling prescriptions, newer templates, and more extensive sampling in wavelength space. We present a comprehensive analysis of different SED-fitting codes including their methods and output with the aim of measuring the uncertainties caused by the modeling assumptions. We apply 14 of the most commonly used SED-fitting codes on samples from the CANDELS photometric catalogs at z ~ 1 and z ~ 3. We find agreement on the stellar mass, while we observe some discrepancies in the star formation rate (SFR) and dust-attenuation results. To explore the differences and biases among the codes, we explore the impact of the various modeling assumptions as they are set in the codes (e.g., star formation histories, nebular, dust and active galactic nucleus models) on the derived stellar masses, SFRs, and A V values. We then assess the difference among the codes on the SFR-stellar mass relation and we measure the contribution to the uncertainties by the modeling choices (i.e., the modeling uncertainties) in stellar mass (~0.1 dex), SFR (~0.3 dex), and dust attenuation (~0.3 mag). Finally, we present some resources summarizing best practices in SED fitting.
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Dates and versions

insu-04479107 , version 1 (03-03-2024)

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Camilla Pacifici, Kartheik G. Iyer, Bahram Mobasher, Elisabete da Cunha, Viviana Acquaviva, et al.. The Art of Measuring Physical Parameters in Galaxies: A Critical Assessment of Spectral Energy Distribution Fitting Techniques. The Astrophysical Journal, 2023, 944, ⟨10.3847/1538-4357/acacff⟩. ⟨insu-04479107⟩
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