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Journal Article

A deep learning approach to galaxy cluster X-ray masses


Nelson,  D.
Galaxy Formation, MPI for Astrophysics, Max Planck Society;


Pakmor,  R.
Stellar Astrophysics, MPI for Astrophysics, Max Planck Society;

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Ntampaka, M., ZuHone, J., Eisenstein, D., Nagai, D., Vikhlinin, A., Hernquist, L., et al. (2019). A deep learning approach to galaxy cluster X-ray masses. The Astrophysical Journal, 876(1): 82. doi:10.3847/1538-4357/ab14eb.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-AFAC-7
We present a machine-learning (ML) approach for estimating galaxy cluster masses from Chandra mock images. We utilize a Convolutional Neural Network (CNN), a deep ML tool commonly used in image recognition tasks. The CNN is trained and tested on our sample of 7896 Chandra X-ray mock observations, which are based on 329 massive clusters from the ${\text{}}{IllustrisTNG}$ simulation. Our CNN learns from a low resolution spatial distribution of photon counts and does not use spectral information. Despite our simplifying assumption to neglect spectral information, the resulting mass values estimated by the CNN exhibit small bias in comparison to the true masses of the simulated clusters (−0.02 dex) and reproduce the cluster masses with low intrinsic scatter, 8% in our best fold and 12% averaging over all. In contrast, a more standard core-excised luminosity method achieves 15%–18% scatter. We interpret the results with an approach inspired by Google DeepDream and find that the CNN ignores the central regions of clusters, which are known to have high scatter with mass.