Morphometric analysis in gamma-ray astronomy using Minkowski functionals. I. Source detection via structure quantification

In this paper, we introduce a morphometric data analysis of gamma-ray sky maps.

How to compute a Minkowski sky map

D. Göring, M. A. Klatt, C. Stegmann, and K. Mecke. Morphometric Analysis in Gamma-Ray Astronomy using Minkowski Functionals. Astron. Astrophys., 555:A38-1–7 (2013)

We introduce a novel approach to source detection via structural deviations from typical features of a random homogeneous background. Minkowski functionals are powerful tools from integral geometry; in 2D, they are the area, the perimeter and the Euler characteristics (a topological quantity, which is given by the sum of all components minus the sum of all holes).

Via a combination of these different geometric measures that quantify the shape of level sets of a counts map, more information can be taken out of the same data without the need to assume prior knowledge about potential sources.

We introduce Minkowski sky maps that quantify local structural deviations. Moreover, they localize and visualize potential sources.

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