Unveiling shapes: Shapelets for galaxy morphology and gravitational lensing studies

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


The shapelet basis system forms a convenient and mathematically well-established framework for describing shapes of galaxies and the telescope's point spread function (PSF). A shapelet-based image processing pipeline thus offers remarkable benefits: For weak-lensing studies, its analytic and efficient deconvolution procedure from arbitrary PSFs constitutes a significant improvement on the traditional KSB method. For complex morphologies of the lensed galaxy ensemble, it has proven to belong to the most accurate shear measurement methods available today. Furthermore, a multitude of shear estimators can be formed from the expansion coefficients, which allows cross-checking of measurements. For statistical investigation of galaxy morphologies, one profits from the significant dimensionality reduction and scale-invariance provided by the shapelet decomposition. Unfortunately, overfitting the data and unphysical high-frequency oscillations pose apparent limitations to its applicability. These problems can be remedied by minor modifications to the decomposition and deconvolution procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-162
Number of pages7
JournalAIP Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventClassification and Discovery in Large Astronomical Surveys - Ringberg Castle, Germany
Duration: Oct 14 2008Oct 17 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Galaxy morphology
  • Gravitational lensing
  • Image processing


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