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Understanding diffuse Galactic radio emission is interesting both in its own right and for minimizing foreground contamination of cosmological measurements. Cosmic Microwave Background experiments have focused on frequencies > 10 GHz, whereas 21 cm tomography of the high redshift universe will mainly focus on < 0.2 GHz, for which less is currently known about Galactic emission. Motivated by this, we present a global sky model derived from all publicly available total power large-area radio surveys, digitized with optical character recognition when necessary and compiled into a uniform format, as well as the new Villa Elisa data extending the 1.4 GHz map to the entire sky. We quantify statistical and systematic uncertainties in these surveys by comparing them with various global multi-frequency model fits. We find that a principal component based model with only three components can fit the 11 most accurate data sets (at 10, 22, 45 & 408 MHz and 1.4, 2.3, 23, 33, 41, 61, 94 GHz) to an accuracy around 1%-10% depending on frequency and sky region. The data compilation and software returning a predicted all-sky map at any frequency from 10 MHz to 100 GHz are publicly available at the link below.
BLOBCAT is a source extraction software that utilizes the flood fill algorithm to detect and catalog blobs, or islands of pixels representing sources, in 2D astronomical images. The software is designed to process radio-wavelength images of both Stokes I intensity and linear polarization, the latter formed through the quadrature sum of Stokes Q and U intensities or as a by-product of rotation measure synthesis. BLOBCAT corrects for two systematic biases to enable the flood fill algorithm to accurately measure flux densities for Gaussian sources. BLOBCAT exhibits accurate measurement performance in total intensity and, in particular, linear polarization, and is particularly suited to the analysis of large survey data.
Aegean, written in python, finds compact sources within radio images by seeking out islands of pixels above a given threshold and then using the curvature of the image to determine how many Gaussian components should be used to describe the island. The Gaussian fitting is initiated with parameters determined from the curvature and intensity maps, and makes use of mpfit to perform a constrained fit. Aegean has been optimized for compact radio sources in images that have no diffuse background emission, but by pre-processing the images with a spatial filter, or by convolving an optical image with an appropriately small PSF, Aegean is able to produce excellent results in a range of applications.
WSClean (w-stacking clean) is a fast generic widefield imager. It uses the w-stacking algorithm and can make use of the w-snapshot algorithm. It supports full-sky imaging and proper beam correction for homogeneous dipole arrays such as the MWA. WSClean allows Hogbom and Cotton-Schwab cleaning, and can clean polarizations joinedly. All operations are performed on the CPU; it is not specialized for GPUs.