What bandwidth do i need for my image?

Adrian M. Price-Whelan, David W. Hogg

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Computer representations of real numbers are necessarily discrete, with some finite resolution, discreteness, quantization, or minimum representable difference. We perform astrometrie and photometric measurements on stars and co-add multiple observations of faint sources to demonstrate that essentially all of the scientific information in an optical astronomical image can be preserved or transmitted when the minimum representable difference is a factor of 2 finer than the root variance of the per-pixel noise. Adopting a representation this coarse reduces bandwidth for data acquisition, transmission, or storage, or permits better use of the system dynamic range, without sacrificing any information for downstream data analysis, including information on sources fainter than the minimum representable difference itself.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)207-214
    Number of pages8
    JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
    Issue number888
    StatePublished - Feb 2010

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Astronomy and Astrophysics
    • Space and Planetary Science


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