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CPROPS, written in IDL, processes FITS data cubes containing molecular line emission and returns the properties of molecular clouds contained within it. Without corrections for the effects of beam convolution and sensitivity to GMC properties, the resulting properties may be severely biased. This is particularly true for extragalactic observations, where resolution and sensitivity effects often bias measured values by 40% or more. We correct for finite spatial and spectral resolutions with a simple deconvolution and we correct for sensitivity biases by extrapolating properties of a GMC to those we would expect to measure with perfect sensitivity. The resulting method recovers the properties of a GMC to within 10% over a large range of resolutions and sensitivities, provided the clouds are marginally resolved with a peak signal-to-noise ratio greater than 10. We note that interferometers systematically underestimate cloud properties, particularly the flux from a cloud. The degree of bias depends on the sensitivity of the observations and the (u,v) coverage of the observations. In the Appendix to the paper we present a conservative, new decomposition algorithm for identifying GMCs in molecular-line observations. This algorithm treats the data in physical rather than observational units, does not produce spurious clouds in the presence of noise, and is sensitive to a range of morphologies. As a result, the output of this decomposition should be directly comparable among disparate data sets.
The CPROPS package contains within it a distribution of the CLUMPFIND code written by Jonathan Williams and described in Williams, de Geus, and Blitz(1994). The package is available as a stand alone package. If you make use of the CLUMPFIND functionality in the CPROPS package for a publication, please cite Jonathan's original article.
Spectral-cube provides an easy way to read, manipulate, analyze, and write data cubes with two positional dimensions and one spectral dimension, optionally with Stokes parameters. It is a versatile data container for building custom analysis routines. It provides a uniform interface to spectral cubes, robust to the wide range of conventions of axis order, spatial projections, and spectral units that exist in the wild, and allows easy extraction of cube sub-regions using physical coordinates. It has the ability to create, combine, and apply masks to datasets and is designed to work with datasets too large to load into memory, and provide basic summary statistic methods like moments and array aggregates.
FilFinder extracts and analyzes filamentary structure in molecular clouds. In particular, it is capable of uniformly extracting structure over a large dynamical range in intensity. It returns the main filament properties: local amplitude and background, width, length, orientation and curvature. FilFinder offers additional tools to, for example, create a filament-only image based on the properties of the radial fits. The resulting mask and skeletons may be saved in FITS format, and property tables may be saved as a CSV, FITS or LaTeX table.
SCIMES identifies relevant molecular gas structures within dendrograms of emission using the spectral clustering paradigm. It is useful for decomposing objects in complex environments imaged at high resolution.
TurbuStat implements a variety of turbulence-based statistics described in the astronomical literature and defines distance metrics for each statistic to quantitatively compare spectral-line data cubes, as well as column density, integrated intensity, or other moment maps. The software can simulate observations of fractional Brownian Motion fields, including 2-D images and optically thin H I data cubes. TurbuStat also offers multicore fast-Fourier-transform support and provides a segmented linear model for fitting lines with a break point.
Astrodendro, written in Python, creates dendrograms for exploring and displaying hierarchical structures in observed or simulated astronomical data. It handles noisy data by allowing specification of the minimum height of a structure and the minimum number of pixels needed for an independent structure. Astrodendro allows interactive viewing of computed dendrograms and can also produce publication-quality plots with the non-interactive plotting interface.