EDP Sciences
Free Access
Issue
A&A
Volume 604, August 2017
Article Number A65
Number of page(s) 13
Section Numerical methods and codes
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/201628891
Published online 07 August 2017

© ESO, 2017

1. Introduction

The Herschel Space Telescope PACS (Poglitsch et al. 2010) and SPIRE (Griffin et al. 2010) photometers have surveyed large areas of the sky (e.g., André et al. 2010; Gordon et al. 2010; Kramer et al. 2010; Meixner et al. 2010; Molinari et al. 2010; Fritz et al. 2012; Draine et al. 2014; Stutz & Gould 2016) in the far-infrared (FIR) and sub-millimeter (sub–mm) from 70 to 500  μm, measuring the cold dust emission largely inaccessible from the ground. Furthermore, the stability of space-based observations allows for the recovery of extended emission down to much fainter flux levels and over larger scales than those accessible with ground-based sub-mm data. Simultaneously, the Herschel data probe higher column densities at higher resolution than those commonly accessible with near-infrared (NIR) extinction measurements (but see also Stutz et al. 2009; Kainulainen et al. 2011).

Table 1

Herschel parallel mode observations analyzed in this paper.

However, even given the wealth of information that the Herschel PACS and SPIRE continuum data provide, large portions of these data remain to be fully scientifically exploited. One obstacle to obtaining accurate column density and temperature maps is that the Herschel archive data have not yet received a full background correction. Obtaining such corrections is not trivial. In the case of the SPIRE images, the archive data have been partially corrected with a Planck-derived (Planck Collaboration I 2014) constant-offset1. The constant-offset correction for SPIRE assumes average zero-level flux values (a single constant-offset correction over a given map), based on Planck measurements. Similar corrections have also been applied in Bernard et al. (2010) and Lombardi et al. (2014). Furthermore, we also refer to Zari et al. (2016) for a near infrared extinction and Planck based calibration method. All these methods implicitly assume that the corrections to the Herschel intensity are independent of angular scale. We note that comparisons with Planck data show that this is in general a good approach for the SPIRE 350 and 500  μm SPIRE data (Bertincourt et al. 2016). In the case of the Herschel archive PACS images no background corrections have been applied.

While the constant-offset corrections partially account for the missing background in the Herschel images, the Planck flux distribution may significantly vary within the image area, especially in cases where the maps are large and at shorter wavelengths. To our knowledge there is no previous demonstration that the constant-offset correction will fully capture the background variations in the PACS and SPIRE 250  μm data. Therefore, both PACS and SPIRE images would benefit from a background correction that is capable of grasping the scale dependence of the background emission levels. The knowledge of these background levels are an obvious requirement to estimate the “actual” flux scale measurements in Herschel images.

The Planck all-sky dust model (Planck Collaboration XI 2014) is currently the best available option for correcting the Herschel images in the wavelength range 160–500  μm because of the close match in wavelength coverage. The dust model obtained from Planck was derived using 353 GHz, 545 GHz, 857 GHz, and IRAS 100  μm data. The inclusion of the IRAS 100  μm data in the Planck model helps to better constrain peak of the dust spectral energy distribution near ~160  μm. Here we develop a method that uses this Planck model to correct the arbitrary flux scale of the Herschel data. In the case of PACS, this correction includes both constant-offset as well as spatial dependence of the corrections that capture the variations in the Planck fluxes at large scales. In the case of SPIRE, since these data already include the constant-offsets from Planck, the correction addresses the possible spatial variations in the background levels. Thus, this method is specially relevant for the PACS data, but can also be important for SPIRE, and in particular for the 250 μm data. In summary, here we essentially combine the Planck and Herschel maps in Fourier space, keeping the information of the former at large scales and the latter at small scales. The transition from large (Planck) to small (Herschel) scales, defined as scale at which Planck and Herschel have similar amplitudes in the Fourier space, is individually estimated for each map.

We have applied our method to two fields observed by Herschel that span a wide range of Galactic environments: Perseus, and the Galactic plane region at l = 11° (HiGal–11, including G11 and W31). We used the new background-calibrated maps to obtain dust column density (NH) and temperature (T) maps. We compared our column density maps to those obtained from Herschel maps corrected with the constant-offset method alone. The data processed in this work are publicly available.

This paper is organized as follows. We describe the data used in Sect. 2. In Sect. 3 we describe our Fourier technique and its application to the Herschel and Planck data. In Sect. 4 we show the flux maps obtained with our methodology and post-process these to obtain column density (NH) and temperature (T) maps. In Sect. 5 we compare our results with previous methods, testing the performance of our method with simulated data in Sect. 6. We present our conclusions in Sect. 7.

2. Data

In this paper we use public Herschel (Pilbratt et al. 2010) and Planck (Planck Collaboration I 2014) archive data.

2.1. Herschel data

The Herschel data used in this paper were retrieved from the Herschel science archive. We selected parallel mode observations carried out with the PACS (Poglitsch et al. 2010) and SPIRE (Griffin et al. 2010) photometers. We used the level 2.5 data products. These data products were optimized for extended emission reconstruction as well as the principle observing mode used for large-scale surveys (i.e., the parallel mode). We therefore focus exclusively on these products in this paper. We use the red (160 μm) channel of PACS, and the three wavelengths of SPIRE (250 μm, 350 μm, and 500 μm). These maps have native pixel scales (and beam sizes) of 3.2 (11.8), 6 (18.2), 10 (24.9) and 14 (36.3) respectively. We refer the reader to Table 1 for further details.

2.2. Planck all-sky foreground dust emission model

The Planck satellite has observed the entire sky at nine different frequencies in the range 30–857 GHz (Planck Collaboration I 2014). Since Herschel and Planck instruments do not have similar wavelength coverage, we must convert the Planck observations into maps directly comparable to those of Herschel. One of the data products of the Planck mission is an all-sky model of the foreground dust emission, obtained from a modified blackbody (MBB) fit to Planck observations at 353, 545, and 857 GHz, complemented with IRAS 100 μm (Beichman et al. 1988) observations (Planck Collaboration XI 2014; Planck Collaboration Int. XXIX 2016). This model estimates the dust optical depth, temperature, and spectral index with a resolution of 5 (30 for the spectral index, β). The results of this model should be used only within the frequency range 353–3000 GHz. At shorter wavelengths the dust emission is known to contain a non-thermal component due to stochastically heated grains (e.g., Draine & Li 2007; Draine 2011; Planck Collaboration XI 2014; Meisner & Finkbeiner 2015).

We use the Planck all-sky foreground dust emission model to reconstruct a FIR spectral energy distribution (SED) at the observed Herschel wavelengths. This model provides the optical depth at ν0 = 353 GHz (τ0), the dust temperature (Tobs), and the dust spectral index (β) for each sky pixel based on a MBB fit to the observed fluxes. We obtained the SED following the Planck analysis via (1)where Iν is the intensity at each frequency, and Bν(Tobs) is the blackbody function at the observed temperature. We converted these SEDs into Herschel simulated observations, integrating them over the respective Herschel filter response functions for extended sources. The Herschel pipeline assumes a flat νSν calibration within each bandpass. We therefore obtained the monochromatic Planck fluxes (S) as follows: (2)where Iν is the intensity obtained in Eq. (1), Rν is the spectral response function for each Herschel bandpass, and ν0 the effective central frequency of each bandpass (Robitaille et al. 2007). We repeated this step for each pixel of the Planck all-sky dust emission model, obtaining four maps of simulated emission at the targeted Herschel wavelengths. These maps are initially extracted from the Planck healpix data format at a 75′′ pixel scale. In a later step these images are regrided and rotated to the reference frame of the Herschel images at their respective wavelengths (pixel scales for Herschel data are listed above). For simplicity, we refer to this data cube as the Planck data cube in the reminder of the paper.

For completeness, we have investigated how the uncertainties of the parameters Tobs, β, and τ0 propagate into our simulated flux maps. To estimate the effect of uncertainties we used the standard deviations of Tobs, β, and τ0 derived for the whole sky, which are respectively 8%, 8%, and 10% (Planck Collaboration XI 2014). We applied these values to a MBB function independently and estimated how much the flux varies at the four wavelengths of interest. In Table 2 we show the results for the representative fiducial MBB parameters Tobs = 20, β = 1.7, and τ0 = 10-4. At every wavelength, the temperature uncertainties dominate on our simulated maps, with the effects being larger at shorter wavelengths. The flux errors caused by the dust spectral index and optical depth uncertainties are within calibration errors of the instruments.

Table 2

Uncertainties in flux values as propagated from the Planck dust model.

thumbnail Fig. 1

Herschel/PACS 160 μm map of HiGal–11. The red contour shows the region with negative fluxes in the Herschel map available in the Herschel data archive. This image also shows the “saw effect” in the map borders and the zero-pading (white edges surrounding the map).

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2.3. Initial image processing

In the main step of this method (see below Sect. 3) we combine the Planck and Herschel datasets obtained above in Fourier space (see Sect. 3.2). Fourier Transforms (FTs) are sensitive to any spatial patterns in the maps. As we show in Fig. 1, the original Herschel maps have two main spatial patterns: a “saw” effect in the field edges, and a zero-padding outside of the observed region. Before applying our method, we rotate and crop the Herschel maps in order to avoid possible contamination of the FT amplitudes from the zero padding and the saw edges. Unfortunately, the general field geometry of Herschel data is not well described by a rectangular field. We therefore must find the best combination possible between removing zero-padding and saw effects and keeping the largest image area as possible. The Herschel/SPIRE and Herschel/PACS observations in parallel mode have an intrinsic pointing offset2. We therefore treat both instruments separately and define different effective regions for each instrument. The following steps are applied to the image products of this initial processing. We address possible effects of these initial processing steps in Sect. 6.

3. Method and implementation

The main goal of this paper is to derive Planck-based multi-scale corrections for the Herschel images at each observed wavelength. Here we combine two single-dish datasets: one with much better resolution (Herschel) than the other (Planck). Therefore, we can make a loose analogy to previous interferometric techniques (e.g., Thompson et al. 1986; Stanimirovic 2002) aimed at combining data sets that are observed at significantly different angular resolutions. Here Herschel would represent the interferometer data while Planck would represent the lower resolution single-dish data. Furthermore, our method is similar to previous methods combining single dish observations, for example, Planck and ATLASGAL (Csengeri et al. 2016).

3.1. Cross-calibration and combination of the datasets

Before combining images it is crucial that both have the same or similar flux scales. This step ensures no sharp jumps in intensities that may cause artifacts when combining the data in Fourier space. Due to the linearity of the Fourier transform, the cross-calibration can be done either in the image- or in the uv-plane, where both methods are mathematically equivalent. The procedure to cross-calibrate Planck and Herschel in the image plane consists of applying a linear fit y = mx + b to the Herschel and Planck datasets and apply the constant b to the Herschel data (e.g., Bernard et al. 2010; Lombardi et al. 2014; Zari et al. 2016). This is equivalent to correcting the Herschel dataset using only the zeroth Fourier mode. As above, we refer to this image plane correction as the “constant-offset” technique. If a constant-offset would be the only difference between both datasets, this correction would be sufficient. This method has already been applied to the SPIRE data products in the Herschel Science Archive (see above).

Alternatively, here we take advantage of the overlap of the Herschel and Planck datasets in Fourier space and cross-calibrate the data by comparing their relative Fourier amplitudes in the uv-plane. First, we re-grid the Planck data (75/pixel) to the corresponding Herschel pixel scale. We then Fourier transform both datasets. To be able to compare them, we must convolve the Planck visibilities with the Herschel beam. This convolution is achieved in two steps: i) by first deconvolving the Planck visibilities, that is, dividing them by the Planck beam, assumed to have a FWHM = 5′; ii) convolving (multiplying) the resulting visibilities with the corresponding Herschel beam profile. Note that the convolution of the Planck visibilities implies dividing by an exponential function that approaches zero at small scales, exponentially increasing the noise of the Planck data at small scales. However, we are only interested in the large scales where the noise is not significantly amplified by the beam deconvolution.

thumbnail Fig. 2

Herschel (red) and deconvolved Planck (blue) visibilities of the field HiGal–11 at 160 μm. The fluxes are in units of Jy/arcsec2 and the scales in units of arcminutes, both shown in logarithmic scale. The shadowed region between 7 and 100 show the visibilities used to obtain the cross-calibration factor between both datasets. We only show Planck visibilities at scales larger than 5 to avoid the noise increment at smaller scales caused by the deconvolution of the Planck data.

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Table 3

Cross-calibration factors.

The Herschel and Planck visibilities are shown in Fig. 2. We compare their visibilities at scales on which the signal-to-noise ratio of both datasets is high enough to obtain the calibration factor to be applied. The high signal-to-noise ratio requirement limits us to compare the visibilities at scales larger than the 5 resolution of Planck. In order to be conservative and avoid the noise contamination generated by the deconvolution of the Planck data, we will define the smallest scale at which we compare the Planck at Herschel visibilities at 7. At these scales, the noise of the deconvolved Planck data is comparable to that of the Herschel data (see Fig. 2). Table 3 shows the cross-calibration factors for each map and wavelength, obtained as the mean of the ratio between the Herschel and Planck visibilities in the shaded region of Fig. 2. The cross-calibration factors are within 20% for every region and wavelength. With both datasets in the same flux scale we can now combine them.

3.2. Combining Planck and Herschel in the Fourier space

In the last step we combine the Planck and Herschel cross-calibrated datasets. We generate the Fourier transforms of the Herschel (FTH) and Planck (FTP) data and linearly combine them, weighted by their correspondent uv-scale () dependent functions wH(κ) and wP(κ), thus obtaining the FT of the combined image, FTC: (3)where is the FTP after being cross-calibrated with Herschel.

Alternatives to the classical interferometric feathering technique that use weighting or interpolation functions different from the beam profiles have been successfully applied when combining single dish data (e.g., Butterworth function by Csengeri et al. 2016). This can be done because of the continuous coverage of the uv-plane by single dish telescopes, which allows to combine the data at any of the overlapping scales, not limited to the telescope beams. In Appendix A we describe the interpolation function used in the implementation of our method.

We define κeff as the angular scale at which we combine the two datasets. To define κeff we use Eq. (3), to define a FTC for each scale in the range [5′, ). For each scale, we estimate the residuals between the new combined visibilities (FTC) and the original Planck and Herschel visibilities, defining κeff as the scale at which the residuals are minimized. We require that κeff ≥ 5′, larger than than the Planck beam. The zeroth Fourier mode equivalent to the constant-offset correction occurs at κeff = ∞. Our method is therefore a generalization to correct the flux scales of Herschel, with the constant-offset correction arising naturally as a special case of it when κeff = ∞. Table 4 we list the κeff values for each region and wavelength. The very last step of our method is straightforward. We inverse Fourier transform the combined visibilities and the modulus of the resulting product will be our final combined image.

thumbnail Fig. 3

Top left: feathered 160  μm image of HiGal–11, shown on a log scale to highlight low emission regions at large scales where our method has the most impact. Top right: ratio of the feathered image over the constant-offset image. Bottom row: from left to right, same as in the top right panel for 250 μm, 350 μm, and 500 μm, showing the same colorbar in every case.

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thumbnail Fig. 4

Left: feathered 160  μm image of the Perseus field, shown on a log scale to highlight low emission regions at large scales where our method has the most impact. Right: ratio of the feathered image over the constant-offset image.

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Table 4

Effective scale (κeff) at which Planck and Herschel data are combined.

4. Results

Following the procedure explained in Sect. 3 we obtained the combined flux maps for each region and wavelength. In the remainder, we will refer to these maps as “feathered”. We show in the top row of Fig. 3 the feathered map of HiGal–11 at 160 μm on the left side and its comparison to the constant-offset corrected map on the right side. In the bottom line we show the comparison, for the same field, of the feathered and constant-offset corrected maps for 250 μm, 350 μm, and 500 μm respectively. It is clear from the images that the corrections are much more significant in for PACS (160 μm), than for the SPIRE data. We describe this result deeper in Sect. 5.1. In Fig. 4 we show the feathered 160 μm map of Perseus (left) and its comparison to the constant-offset corrected map (right). For simplicity, we only show the 160 μm case because, as in HiGal–11, it shows the most significant differences between the feathered and constant-offset maps. We note that the existence of strong Planck emitting sources in regions just outside the Herschel mapping area could in some cases introduce artifacts near the edge of the maps. Unfortunately, such effects would be completely random, depending exclusively on the relative orientation between the sources and the Herschel maps. It is beyond the scope of this paper to create a model to quantify these effects.

We further post-processed the feathered flux maps following the procedure in Appendix B to obtain the feathered column density and temperature maps. The feathered column density map of HiGal–11 (Perseus) is shown in the top left panel of Fig. 5 (Fig. 7). The feathered temperatures of HiGal–11 (Perseus) are shown in the top left panel of Fig. 6 (Fig. 8).

5. Discussion

In this section we first compare our feathered flux maps with those obtained using the constant-offset correction. We then compare the feathered and constant-offset column densities and temperatures.

5.1. Feathered vs. constant-offset flux maps

We now compare the our feathered flux maps with those obtained via the constant-offset correction applied in previous works (e.g., Bernard et al. 2010; Lombardi et al. 2014; Zari et al. 2016). In Fig. 3 we show the comparison between our feathered HiGal–11 flux maps and the constant-offset maps. The feathered image of HiGal–11 has more emission in the diffuse regions off of the Galactic plane, and the relative differences can exceed 40% (although the absolute differences are similar) over significant areas of the image. Contrary, the feathered image tends to show ~10% lower fluxes on the Galactic plane areas. The feathered and constant-offset images agree on compact objects. The map of Perseus exhibits a similar behavior to that of the HiGal–11 field, with the most strong emitting regions having similar fluxes in the feathered and constant-offset maps and the constant offset map over-estimating (under-) the flux at intermediate (low) fluxes (see Fig. 4). These results illustrate non-uniform and scale dependent nature of the signal at large scales, specially significant in the PACS data.

In the bottom row of Fig. 3 we show the comparison between the feathered and constant-offset flux maps for the same region for the SPIRE wavelengths. In general, the feathered and constant-offset agree within calibration errors at these wavelengths, as can be seen in the predominantly white maps in the bottom row of Fig. 3. Only small parts of the 250 μm image show significant differences between the feathered and constant-offset maps. This result agrees with Bertincourt et al. (2016) who study the large scale emission of SPIRE and Planck in several regions finding good agreement between both. For this reason, and to simplify the paper, we do not show the comparison between the feathered and constant-offset corrected maps for Perseus at the SPIRE wavelengths, since the results are similar to those already described.

thumbnail Fig. 5

Top left: logarithmic column density map of the HiGal–11 obtained with our method. Top right: ratio of our feathered and the constant-offset column density maps. Bottom left: histograms of the feathered (black) and the constant-offset (red) column density maps. Bottom right: ratio of feathered and constant-offset corrected column densities NF(H) /NC(H) function of the feathered column density.

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thumbnail Fig. 6

Top left: temperature map of the HiGal field 11 obtained with our method. Top right: difference of our feathered and the constant-offset temperature maps. Bottom left: histograms of the feathered (black) and the constant-offset (red) temperature maps. Bottom right: residuals, (TCTF) /TF, of the feathered and constant-offset temperature maps as function of the feathered temperature.

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thumbnail Fig. 7

As Fig. 5, for Perseus.

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thumbnail Fig. 8

As Fig. 6, for Perseus.

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5.2. Comparing column density and temperature maps to previous methods

We have shown in Sect. 5.1 that the Herschel data corrected with a constant-offset tend to underestimate the fluxes in diffuse regions compared to our flux feathered maps, while both agree well in regions with strong emission. These results are specially significant at 160  μm. With these results we would expect that the temperatures in diffuse regions are underestimated by Herschel and therefore the column densities overestimated.

Table 5

Amplitudes (in Jy/arcsec2) of the zeroth Fourier modes of the Planck and Herschel maps.

This is exactly what we find in HiGal–11 and Perseus, as it is shown in Figs. 58. In strong emitting (i.e., dense) regions, the feathered and constant-offset maps agree for both temperatures and column densities. This is shown in the ratio map, the similar high column density tails of the histograms, and the surface density points follow the identity at large column densities (and low temperatures). In HiGal–11 constant-offset maps do not measure column densities lower than 1022 cm-2. The inverse effect is seen in temperatures: the constant-offset temperatures below 20 K tend to be significantly lower than our feathered temperatures (see Fig. 6). The map shows discrepancies larger than 30% between both methods over ~15% of the area of HiGal–11. In the case of Perseus the temperature difference map shows that in general, the constant-offset and feathered temperatures agree within 2 K in Perseus. The differences in column densities are concentrated on the gas surrounding the NGC 1333 region. These differences account for more than 30% at intermediate (1022 cm-2) column densities. These results highlight the importance of a proper treatment of the Herschel data, especially in diffuse regions, since the column densities are directly related with the mass of the dust, and therefore the total mass of the molecular clouds, intimately linked to key physical parameters as the gravitational potential.

6. Testing our method on simulations

thumbnail Fig. 9

Top left: column density map of the simulated molecular cloud in units of cm-2. Top right: ratio between the feathered and simulated column densities of the simulated molecular cloud (NF/Nsim). Bottom left: ratio between the constant-offset and simulated column densities of the simulated molecular cloud (NC/Nsim). Bottom right: histograms of the NF/Nsim (black) and NC/Nsim (red) distributions.

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thumbnail Fig. 10

Same as in Fig. 9 for the temperature.

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We now test the performance of our method on a simulated 103M  molecular cloud, for which the actual column density and temperature distributions are known. We used the Smooth Particle Hydrodyncamics SPH code Gadget 2, with 24 million particles, starting from a uniform density field and turbulent, random initial velocity fluctuation with a rms mach number of approximately eight. For simplicity and speed of the calculations, our simulation was isothermal. However, we assumed a polytropic equation of state to produce a mean temperature map. The internal temperature of the cloud was, thus, given by (4)where n is density and with A = 215 and γ = − 0.3 if n ≤ 4.3 × 105 cm-3, and A = 5 and γ = 0.01 if n> 4.3 × 105 cm-3. Such dependency is meant to be representative of the temperature of MCs, which external parts are heated by the diffuse UV radiation of the ISM, while their densest parts start becoming optically thick, the cooling become less efficient, and thus the gas and dust grains become coupled (see, e.g., Jappsen et al. 2005).

To test our method, we need to construct column density and temperature maps with sizes of at least 20482 pixels. For this purpose, we computed the total mass and the mean temperature of the SPH particles along each area element. We note that this was performed without taking into applying the smoothing length in the simulations. Since 24 million particles distributed over 20482 pixels give a mean of approximately six particles per beam, it is clear that, without considering the smoothing length, the map would contain a large amount of small structure noise. By not applying the smoothing length we verified that our algorithm is able to recover structure even in maps containing significant small-scale structure variation. The resulting maps are displayed in the top left panels of Figs. 9 and 10.

In order to test our method on the simulated clouds it was necessary to generate the same data products retrieved from the Herschel and Planck archives. Here we explain the processing steps applied to obtain our Planck and Herschel simulated maps:

  • 0.

    Rotate the maps: to obtain the most realistic possible test of our method we first rotated the simulated molecular cloud maps 45 degrees. With this step we tested possible effects introduced when we crop and rotate the real maps in the first step of our method.

  • 1.

    Obtaining Planck and Herschel emission maps: with our simulated maps and, for simplicity, assuming a constant dust spectral index, β = 1.8, consistent with Ossenkopf & Henning (1994), we used Eqs. (1) and (2) to obtain the ideal observations of our simulated clouds for Herschel and Planck, each at their own wavelengths (Sects. 2.1 and 2.2).

  • 2.

    Adding realistic noise to the emission maps: the emission maps obtained in Step 1 are highly idealized. We therefore added realistic noise to our ideal Planck and Herschel emission maps to test our method under more realistic conditions. We estimated the noise of Planck and Herschel in the Fourier space using the actual HiGal–11 maps for this purpose. We assumed that the Fourier amplitudes of Planck and Herschel have two main components: the signal, encoded in the Fourier amplitudes at any given scale, and the noise, which causes scatter in the signal at any given scale. This noise includes observational and “artificial” effects (e.g., gradients) created by image processing pipelines. We used the rms of the Fourier amplitudes to estimate the Herschel and Planck noise. We then convolve this noise with our ideal emission maps. With this method, we included in our simulation artificial effects in Herschel and Planck data (e.g., saturation of the IRAS data in the Planck dust model, artificial gradients in Herschel).

  • 3.

    Obtaining more realistic data products from the Planck all-sky model of dust emission: as explained in Sect. 2.2, the Planck all sky model of dust emission provides three data products: temperature, optical depth, and dust spectral index. To test our model we used the realistic Planck emission maps obtained in Step 2 to generate our temperature, optical depth, and dust spectral index datasets. We used the same procedure followed in Planck Collaboration XI (2014). The Planck datasets obtained in this step will be the starting point to apply our method to the simulations.

  • 4.

    Filtering of the Herschel maps: the goal of our method is to correct the background emission of the Herschel maps applying multi-scale corrections derived from Planck. To test how our method recovers possible large scale variations measured by Planck, we artificially filter the Herschel maps at large scales. We illustrate this procedure, for the case of 160 μm, in Fig. 11. This image shows the radial averaged Fourier amplitudes of our Planck and Herschel simulated maps. We then filtered the Herschel data at scales larger than 30, resulting in the red dotted line shown in Fig. 11. In Fig. 11 we show the radial averaged Fourier amplitudes of the feathered image resulting of applying our method to the simulated datasets. We note that it nicely follows nicely the line of the original Herschel data, showing that our method achieves the goal of recovering filtered emission in Herschel.

We have now obtained the entire dataset needed to apply our method as done in previous sections to the real data. We ran our method as explained in Sect. 3 on the Herschel and Planck simulated datasets obtained in Steps 4 and 3 respectively. As in previous sections, the application of our method generates constant-offset (the Herschel maps corrected only with the zeroth Fourier order) and feathered flux maps that we further process to obtain their column densities and temperatures following Appendix B.

In the top left panel of Fig. 9 we show the column density map of our simulated molecular cloud. In the top right panel of Fig. 9 we compare our feathered column density distribution with that of the simulated cloud. The feathered and simulated column densities agree within 10% in general at large scales. In the densest regions (N> 1023 cm-2) of the simulated cloud our method tends to systematically underestimate the column densities by values up to 15–20%. This effect is mainly caused by the simplifying assumption of a constant dust spectral index introduced in Step 1. We also note the absence of edge effects in our feathered maps, which demonstrates that cropping and rotating the maps do not generate artifacts in our maps. In the bottom left panel of Fig. 9 we show the comparison between the constant-offset and simulated column densities. These have some features in common with the behavior outlined above for the feathered case: systematically underestimated column densities in the densest parts of the cloud. Most importantly, the constant-offset maps show a bias toward column densities 10% lower than those of the simulated cloud. This is better seen in the histogram at bottom right panel of Fig. 9, that peaks at NC/Nsim ≈ 0.90. In contrast, the NF/Nsim histogram peaks at 1. Furthermore, the constant offset method is also more prone to overestimate column densities (specially in the low column density areas of the cloud) than our feathered maps, as shown by the wider distribution of its histogram, compared to that of our feathered maps.

In Fig. 10 we compare the temperature results. In the top left panel of Fig. 10 we show the temperature distribution of the simulated cloud, which is compared to the feathered and constant-offset temperatures in the top right and bottom left panels respectively. As in the case of column densities, there is very good agreement (within half a K) between the simulated and feathered temperatures. The feathered temperatures tend to be higher (up to 1 K) than the simulated temperatures in the coldest regions of molecular clouds. This effect, also seen in the constant-offset temperatures, is likely connected to the assumption of a constant dust spectral index done in Step 1, and is also reflected in the column density maps (see above). The histogram in Fig. 10 shows that the constant-offset temperatures are biased toward higher values of 0.35 K, while the distribution of feathered temperatures peaks at ΔT = 0 K, indicating no bias. Both temperature distributions have, however, large widths (up to ±1 K), with the feathered distribution being highly symmetrical, in contrast to the constant-offset distribution.

These results show that our method recovers better the original NH and T information, thanks to the combination of large and small scale information. Furthermore, our method accomplishes this without introducing additional artifacts due to the data treatment.

7. Conclusions

The goal of this paper is to derive Planck-based multi-scale corrections for the Herschel images at 160  μm, 250  μm, 350  μm, and 500  μm. We achieve this goal by linearly combining Herschel and Planck data in Fourier space. We tested our method in two different star forming molecular cloud regions. We further processed the feathered maps to obtain the column densities and temperatures of the regions studied. We compared our feathered column densities and temperatures with those obtained with previous methods: corrected the flux scale of Herschel images adding a constant-offset value obtained from comparisons with Planck data. We finally demonstrated the performance of our method in simulations. Here we summarize the main results of our paper.

  • We combine the Planck and Herschel datasets at an effective scaleκeff. This effective scale is calculated separately for each region as theangular scale at which the residuals between the combined imagevisibilities and the original Herschel and Planck visibilities areminimum. The effective scale has values between the Planckresolution (5′) and κeff = ∞. The latter is equivalent to applying only theFourier zeroth mode correction to Herschel, and ismathematically identical to the previously used constant-offsetcorrection. Our method is therefore a general method to correctthe Herschel flux scales with the constant-offset correctionarising naturally as a special case.

  • Our method can be generically applied to any combination of image estimators containing different angular resolutions.

  • In the HiGal–11 field, our feathered column densities exhibit higher (lower) NH values in (out of) the Galactic plane region, compared to the constant-offset method. In general, a similar effect is seen in Perseus in the areas surrounding NGC 1333, which also exhibits higher NH values compared to previous methods. We show that NH values calculated based on the constant-offset method can be discrepant by factors of ~50% or more, but typically span variations of ~30% over significant portions of the images.

  • In the two regions shown in this paper our feathered column densities recover more low column material, and the discrepancies with the previous method are most significant at the lower end of the column density distribution, near NH ~ 1022 cm-2. Above this value, we find generally acceptable agreement with previous methods. As most molecular cloud mass resides at low NH values, a proper treatment of the column densities and temperatures is needed to better constrain fundamental physical parameters such as the gravitational potential.

  • We also apply our method to simulated molecular cloud data, where the actual temperature and column density distributions are known. We simulated the Planck and Herschel observations for the simulated cloud, including noise. We then applied artificial filtering to the simulated Herschel data. The comparison between the input and output NH and T maps reveals that our method successfully recovers the emission filtered out from the Herschel data. Therefore we conclude that our method is accurate and is better at reconstructing the missing background emission than a constant-offset correction alone would.

We have made the data in this paper publicly available. Furthermore, our technique can be applied to the entire Herschel science archive. This is to be the goal of a follow up paper.

thumbnail Fig. 11

Radial averaged visibilities of the simulated Planck (solid blue) data, simulated Herschel data (solid red), filtered Herschel data (dotted red), and combined image generated by our method (dashed green). The scale is shown in units of arcminutes and the amplitudes of the visibilities in Jy/2. The visibilities are those of simulated data at 160 μm.

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1

This procedure is described in detail in the instrument handbook: herschel.esac.esa.int/Docs/SPIRE/spire_ handbook.pdf.

2

See Herschel handbook for further details.

Acknowledgments

J.A. and A.S. thank the referee for a constructive report whose line of inquiry led to significant improvements to this work. J.A. and A.S. thank Andrew Gould for insightful technical discussions that resulted in significant improvements to the method. The work of J.A. is supported by the Sonderforschungsbereich (SFB) 881 “The Milky Way System” and the International Max-Planck Research School (IMPRS) at Heidelberg University. A.S. is thankful for funding from the “Concurso Proyectos Internacionales de Investigación, Convocatoria 2015” (project code PII20150171) and the BASAL Centro de Astrofísica y Tecnologías Afines (CATA) PFB-06/2007. J.B.-P. acknowledges UNAM-PAPIIT grant number IN110816, and to UNAM’s DGAPA-PASPA Sabbatical program. He also is indebted to the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung for its invaluable support. This paper includes data from Herschel, a European Space Agency (ESA) space observatory with science instruments provided by European-led consortia and with important participation from NASA. This papers makes use of data provided by Planck, a project of the European Space Agency (ESA) with instruments provided by the o scientific consortia funded by ESA member states and led by Principal Investigators from France and Italy, telescope reflectors provided through a collaboration between ESA and a scientific consortium led and funded by Denmark, and additional contributions from NASA (USA).This research made use of Montage. It is funded by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number ACI-1440620, and was previously funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s EarthScience Technology Office, Computation Technologies Project, under Cooperative Agreement Number NCC5-626 between NASA and the California Institute of Technology.

References

Appendix A: Our interpolation functions

As shown in Eq. (3), the combination of Planck and Herschel datasets in the Fourier space includes the definition of two uv-scale dependent interpolation functions, wP(κ) and wH(κ) respectively. In the text we explain that the canonical feathering technique defines both functions as Gaussian, based on the approximation of telescope beam profiles as Gaussian functions. However, Csengeri et al. (2016) show that alternative interpolation functions can be successfully used to combine the data of two single dish telescopes in the Fourier space.

Specifically for our method, the interpolation functions must fulfill one condition: they must transition smoothly from the Herschel regime at small uv-scales to the Planck regime at large uv-scales with no loss in flux. To this aim, we decided to define wH and wP as: (A.1)where Q is a factor defining the steepness of the interpolation functions in the transition, and κeff is the effective scale at which we combine the Herschel and Planck datasets. Note that Gaussian functions have no equivalent property to Q. Our interest on controlling the steepness of the interpolation functions responds to the condition of losing no (or negligible) flux when transitioning from Planck to Herschel scales. The interpolation functions to be applied to the Planck data are defined as (A.2)filling the requirement wP + wH = 1 for every scale (see Fig. A.1). We note that in the standard feathering the weights sum to the Gaussian beam of the interferometer. This is done to reduce possible noise at the smallest uv-scales. However, we want to keep all power of Herschel at small scales. We therefore require that the sum of our interpolation functions is one at all scales. In Fig. A.1 we show the comparison between the canonical Gaussian weights used in the feathering for interferometry and those used in our paper. We have validated our non standard interpolation functions in the simulations show in Sect. 6 showing that we reproduced properly the distributions.

thumbnail Fig. A.1

Fourier scale dependent functions applied in the classical feathering technique (Stanimirovic 2002). The blue (red) solid line shows the Planck (Herschel at 160 μm) beam approached by a Gaussian of 5 (12) in the Fourier domain. The green line shows the scale-dependent functions applied to the Herschel data following the classical feathering algorithm (see Sect. 3.2). The dotted red (blue) line shows the interpolationg functions used in this paper for Herschel, (Planck, ) assuming κeff = 5′. The functional form of these interpolation functions is shown in Eq. (A.1) (Eq. (A.2)).

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Appendix B: NH and temperature fitting: modified black-body fitting

We provide a brief summary here and refer the reader to Stutz & Kainulainen (2015) and Stutz et al. (2010) for further details. We convolve the feathered data to the beam of Herschel 500μm (FWHM ~ 36′′) using convolution kernels from Aniano et al. (2011). We then re-grid the data to a common coordinate system, using an 14′′ pixel scale. With the surface

densities of the four wavelengths we obtain an SED for each pixel. We fit each pixel SED using an MBB function: (B.1)where Ω is the beam solid angle, Bν(Td) is the Planck function at a dust temperature Td, and τ(ν) is the optical depth at frequency ν. We define the optical depth as , where NH = 2 × N(H2) + N(H) is the total hydrogen column density, mH the mass of the hydrogen atom, κν the dust opacity, and Rgd the gas-to-dust ratio, assumed to be 110 (Sodroski et al. 1997). We use the dust opacities listed in the Col. 5 in Table 1 of Ossenkopf & Henning (1994): dust grains with thin ice mantles after 105 yr of coagulation time at an assumed gas density of 106 cm-3. The systematic effects introduced when assuming a different dust model are discussed in Stutz et al. (2013) and Launhardt et al. (2013). The choice of dust model, along with the adopted Rgd value, likely dominate the systematic uncertainties.

We use a two-step method for applying the color and beam size corrections to the pixel SEDs. We fit the uncorrected fluxes to obtain a first estimate of the temperature. We then use this temperature to apply the corrections as described in the SPIRE and PACS instrument handbooks. We then repeat the fit to the corrected SED.

All Tables

Table 1

Herschel parallel mode observations analyzed in this paper.

Table 2

Uncertainties in flux values as propagated from the Planck dust model.

Table 3

Cross-calibration factors.

Table 4

Effective scale (κeff) at which Planck and Herschel data are combined.

Table 5

Amplitudes (in Jy/arcsec2) of the zeroth Fourier modes of the Planck and Herschel maps.

All Figures

thumbnail Fig. 1

Herschel/PACS 160 μm map of HiGal–11. The red contour shows the region with negative fluxes in the Herschel map available in the Herschel data archive. This image also shows the “saw effect” in the map borders and the zero-pading (white edges surrounding the map).

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In the text
thumbnail Fig. 2

Herschel (red) and deconvolved Planck (blue) visibilities of the field HiGal–11 at 160 μm. The fluxes are in units of Jy/arcsec2 and the scales in units of arcminutes, both shown in logarithmic scale. The shadowed region between 7 and 100 show the visibilities used to obtain the cross-calibration factor between both datasets. We only show Planck visibilities at scales larger than 5 to avoid the noise increment at smaller scales caused by the deconvolution of the Planck data.

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In the text
thumbnail Fig. 3

Top left: feathered 160  μm image of HiGal–11, shown on a log scale to highlight low emission regions at large scales where our method has the most impact. Top right: ratio of the feathered image over the constant-offset image. Bottom row: from left to right, same as in the top right panel for 250 μm, 350 μm, and 500 μm, showing the same colorbar in every case.

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In the text
thumbnail Fig. 4

Left: feathered 160  μm image of the Perseus field, shown on a log scale to highlight low emission regions at large scales where our method has the most impact. Right: ratio of the feathered image over the constant-offset image.

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In the text
thumbnail Fig. 5

Top left: logarithmic column density map of the HiGal–11 obtained with our method. Top right: ratio of our feathered and the constant-offset column density maps. Bottom left: histograms of the feathered (black) and the constant-offset (red) column density maps. Bottom right: ratio of feathered and constant-offset corrected column densities NF(H) /NC(H) function of the feathered column density.

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In the text
thumbnail Fig. 6

Top left: temperature map of the HiGal field 11 obtained with our method. Top right: difference of our feathered and the constant-offset temperature maps. Bottom left: histograms of the feathered (black) and the constant-offset (red) temperature maps. Bottom right: residuals, (TCTF) /TF, of the feathered and constant-offset temperature maps as function of the feathered temperature.

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In the text
thumbnail Fig. 7

As Fig. 5, for Perseus.

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In the text
thumbnail Fig. 8

As Fig. 6, for Perseus.

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In the text
thumbnail Fig. 9

Top left: column density map of the simulated molecular cloud in units of cm-2. Top right: ratio between the feathered and simulated column densities of the simulated molecular cloud (NF/Nsim). Bottom left: ratio between the constant-offset and simulated column densities of the simulated molecular cloud (NC/Nsim). Bottom right: histograms of the NF/Nsim (black) and NC/Nsim (red) distributions.

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In the text
thumbnail Fig. 10

Same as in Fig. 9 for the temperature.

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In the text
thumbnail Fig. 11

Radial averaged visibilities of the simulated Planck (solid blue) data, simulated Herschel data (solid red), filtered Herschel data (dotted red), and combined image generated by our method (dashed green). The scale is shown in units of arcminutes and the amplitudes of the visibilities in Jy/2. The visibilities are those of simulated data at 160 μm.

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In the text
thumbnail Fig. A.1

Fourier scale dependent functions applied in the classical feathering technique (Stanimirovic 2002). The blue (red) solid line shows the Planck (Herschel at 160 μm) beam approached by a Gaussian of 5 (12) in the Fourier domain. The green line shows the scale-dependent functions applied to the Herschel data following the classical feathering algorithm (see Sect. 3.2). The dotted red (blue) line shows the interpolationg functions used in this paper for Herschel, (Planck, ) assuming κeff = 5′. The functional form of these interpolation functions is shown in Eq. (A.1) (Eq. (A.2)).

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In the text

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