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EAZY, Easy and Accurate Zphot from Yale, determines photometric redshifts. The program is optimized for cases where spectroscopic redshifts are not available, or only available for a biased subset of the galaxies. The code combines features from various existing codes: it can fit linear combinations of templates, it includes optional flux- and redshift-based priors, and its user interface is modeled on the popular HYPERZ (ascl:1108.010) code. The default template set, as well as the default functional forms of the priors, are not based on (usually highly biased) spectroscopic samples, but on semi-analytical models. Furthermore, template mismatch is addressed by a novel rest-frame template error function. This function gives different wavelength regions different weights, and ensures that the formal redshift uncertainties are realistic. A redshift quality parameter, Q_z, provides a robust estimate of the reliability of the photometric redshift estimate.
Conventional algorithms for rejecting cosmic rays in single CCD exposures rely on the contrast between cosmic rays and their surroundings and may produce erroneous results if the point-spread function is smaller than the largest cosmic rays. This code uses a robust algorithm for cosmic-ray rejection, based on a variation of Laplacian edge detection. The algorithm identifies cosmic rays of arbitrary shapes and sizes by the sharpness of their edges and reliably discriminates between poorly sampled point sources and cosmic rays. Examples of its performance are given for spectroscopic and imaging data, including Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 images, in the code paper.
FAST (Fitting and Assessment of Synthetic Templates) fits stellar population synthesis templates to broadband photometry and/or spectra. FAST is compatible with the photometric redshift code EAzY (ascl:1010.052) when fitting broadband photometry; it uses the photometric redshifts derived by EAzY, and the input files (for examply, photometric catalog and master filter file) are the same. FAST fits spectra in combination with broadband photometric data points or simultaneously fits two components, allowing for an AGN contribution in addition to the host galaxy light. Depending on the input parameters, FAST outputs the best-fit redshift, age, dust content, star formation timescale, metallicity, stellar mass, star formation rate (SFR), and their confidence intervals. Though some of FAST's functions overlap with those of HYPERZ (ascl:1108.010), it differs by fitting fluxes instead of magnitudes, allows the user to completely define the grid of input stellar population parameters and easily input photometric redshifts and their confidence intervals, and calculates calibrated confidence intervals for all parameters. Note that FAST is not a photometric redshift code, though it can be used as one.
alf fits the absorption line optical—NIR spectrum. Initially written to constrain the stellar IMF in old massive galaxies, the code now also offers theoretical age and metallicity-dependent response functions covering 19 elements, nuisance parameters to capture uncertainties in stellar evolution, and parameters to capture uncertainties in the data, including modeling telluric absorption and sky line residuals. alf can fit stellar populations with metallicities from approximately -2.0 to +0.3 and performs well when fitting stellar populations ranging from metal-poor globular clusters to brightest cluster galaxies. The software works in continuum-normalized space and so does not make any use of the shape of the continuum (nor of corresponding photometry). Fitting is handled with emcee (ascl:1303.002); the code is MPI parallelized and runs efficiently on many processors, though fitting data with alf is time intensive.