PopSED: Population-level Inference for Galaxy Properties from Broadband Photometry with Neural Density Estimation

Jiaxuan Li, Peter Melchior, Chang Hoon Hahn, Song Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present PopSED , a framework for the population-level inference of galaxy properties from photometric data. Unlike the traditional approach of first analyzing individual galaxies and then combining the results to determine the physical properties of the entire galaxy population, we directly make the population distribution the inference objective. We train normalizing flows to approximate the population distribution by minimizing the Wasserstein distance between the synthetic photometry of the galaxy population and the observed data. We validate our method using mock observations and apply it to galaxies from the GAMA survey. PopSED reliably recovers the redshift and stellar mass distribution of 105 galaxies using broadband photometry within <1 GPU hr, being 105-6 times faster than the traditional spectral energy distribution modeling method. From the population posterior, we also recover the star-forming main sequence for GAMA galaxies at z < 0.1. With the unprecedented number of galaxies in upcoming surveys, our method offers an efficient tool for studying galaxy evolution and deriving redshift distributions for cosmological analyses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number16
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume167
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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