Star Formation and Morphological Properties of Galaxies in the Pan-STARRS 3π Survey. I. A Machine-learning Approach to Galaxy and Supernova Classification

A. Baldeschi*, A. Miller, M. Stroh, R. Margutti, D. L. Coppejans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

We present a classification of galaxies in the Pan-STARRS1 (PS1) 3π survey based on their recent star formation history and morphology. Specifically, we train and test two Random Forest (RF) classifiers using photometric features (colors and moments) from the PS1 data release 2. The labels for the morphological classification are taken from Huertas-Company et al., while labels for the star formation fraction (SFF) are from the Blanton et al. catalog. We find that colors provide more predictive accuracy than photometric moments. We morphologically classify galaxies as either early-or late-type, and our RF model achieves a 78% classification accuracy. Our second model classifies galaxies as having either a low-to-moderate or high SFF. This model achieves an 89% classification accuracy. We apply both RF classifiers to the entire PS1 3π dataset, which allows us to assign two scores to each PS1 source: P HSFF, which quantifies the probability of having a high SFF; and P spiral, which quantifies the probability of having a late-type morphology. Finally, as a proof of concept, we apply our classification framework to supernova (SN) host galaxies from the Zwicky Transient Factory and the Lick Observatory Supernova Search samples. We show that by selecting P HSFF or P spiral, it is possible to significantly enhance or suppress the fraction of core-collapse SNe (or thermonuclear SNe) in the sample with respect to random guessing. This result demonstrates how contextual information can aid transient classifications at the time of first detection. In the current era of spectroscopically starved time-domain astronomy, prompt automated classification is paramount. Our table is available at 10.5281/zenodo.3990545.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number60
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume902
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 10 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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