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[ascl:1705.007] getimages: Background derivation and image flattening method

getimages performs background derivation and image flattening for high-resolution images obtained with space observatories. It is based on median filtering with sliding windows corresponding to a range of spatial scales from the observational beam size up to a maximum structure width X. The latter is a single free parameter of getimages that can be evaluated manually from the observed image. The median filtering algorithm provides a background image for structures of all widths below X. The same median filtering procedure applied to an image of standard deviations derived from a background-subtracted image results in a flattening image. Finally, a flattened image is computed by dividing the background-subtracted by the flattening image. Standard deviations in the flattened image are now uniform outside sources and filaments. Detecting structures in such radically simplified images results in much cleaner extractions that are more complete and reliable. getimages also reduces various observational and map-making artifacts and equalizes noise levels between independent tiles of mosaicked images. The code (a Bash script) uses FORTRAN utilities from getsources (ascl:1507.014), which must be installed.

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