Modern astronomers encounter a vast range of challenging statistical problems, yet few are familiar with the wealth of techniques developed by statisticians. Conversely, few statisticians deal with the compelling problems confronted in astronomy.
Astrostatistics bridges this gap. Authored by a statistician-astronomer team, it provides professionals and advanced students in both fields with exposure to issues of mutual interest. In the first half of the book the authors introduce statisticians to stellar, galactic, and cosmological astronomy and discuss the complex character of astronomical data. For astronomers, they introduce the statistical principles of nonparametrics, multivariate analysis, time series analysis, density estimation, and resampling methods.
The second half of the book is organized by statistical topic. Each chapter contains examples of problems encountered astronomical research and highlights methodological issues. The final chapter explores some controversial issues in astronomy that have a strong statistical component. The authors provide an extensive bibliography and references to software for implementing statistical methods.
The "marriage" of astronomy and statistics is a natural one and benefits both disciplines. Astronomers need the tools and methods of statistics to interpret the vast amount of data they generate, and the issues related to astronomical data pose intriguing challenges for statisticians. Astrostatistics paves the way to improved statistical analysis of astronomical data and provides a common ground for future collaboration between the two fields.
INTRODUCTION Statistics in Greek and Renaissance Astronomy Celestial Mechanics and the Rise of Mathematical Statistics Contemporary Links Between Astronomy and Statistics Statistical Consulting and Software OVERVIEW OF ASTRONOMY Units, Nomenclature, Catalogs, and Telescopes Stars The Galaxy Extragalactic Astronomy and Cosmology THE CHARACTER OF ASTRONOMICAL DATA Types of Astronomical Data Astronomical Measurement Errors Summary OVERVIEW OF STATISTICS Exploratory Data Analysis Probability Distributions Estimation Hypothesis Testing Nonparametric Tests Multivariate Analysis Time Series Analysis Spatial Statistics Wavelets Density Estimation Sampling Designs RESAMPLING METHODS Description of the Bootstrap Method Some Simple Applications Estimating the Sampling Distribution Bootstrap Confidence Intervals Bootstrap for Regression Models Summary SPATIAL STATISTICS Recent Astronomical Problems Spatial Distribution of Galaxies Sources in Photon-Counting Detectors Gamma-Ray Burst Distributions Summary LINEAR REGRESSION Introduction Recent Examples from the Astronomical Literature Unweighted Least Squares Lines Error-in-Variables Models Summary MULTIVARIATE CLASSIFICATION AND ANALYSIS Some Multivariate Problems in Astronomy Applications of Multivariate Methods Some New Methods Multivariate Classification Multivariate Statistical Software Summary TIME SERIES ANALYSIS Variable Phenomena in Astronomy Examples of Astronomical Time Series Periodicities in Irregularly-Space Observations Computer Software Summary CENSORING AND TRUNCATION Recent Research Problems Statistics for Censored Data Statistical Methods for Truncated Data Software Summary SOME ASTRONOMICAL CONTROVERSIES Tifft's Quantized Redshifts Arp's Quasar Alignments Segal's Chronometric Cosmology Gott's Longevity of Civilizations REFERENCES INDEX