Subtraction of Bright Point Sources from Synthesis Images of the Epoch of Reionization
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Copyright © 2011 Astronomical Society of Australia
Bright point sources associated with extragalactic active galactic nuclei and radio galaxies are an important foreground for low-frequency radio experiments aimed at detecting the redshifted 21-cm emission from neutral hydrogen during the epoch of reionization. The frequency dependence of the synthesized beam implies that the sidelobes of these sources will move across the field of view as a function of observing frequency, hence frustrating line-of-sight foreground subtraction techniques. We describe a method for subtracting these point sources from dirty maps produced by an instrument such as the MWA. This technique combines matched filters with an iterative centroiding scheme to locate and characterize point sources in the presence of a diffuse background. Simulations show that this technique can improve the dynamic range of epoch-of-reionization maps by 2–3 orders of magnitude.
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