Disks as inhomogeneous, anisotropic gaussian random fields

Daeyoung Lee, Charles F. Gammie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We model astrophysical disk surface brightness fluctuations as an inhomogeneous, anisotropic, time-dependent Gaussian random field. The field locally obeys the stochastic partial differential equation of a Matérn field, which has a power spectrum that is flat at large scales and falls off as a power law at small scales. We provide a series of pedagogical examples and along the way provide a convenient parameterization for the local covariance. We then consider two applications to disks. In the first we generate an animation of a disk. In the second, by integrating over an animation of a disk, we generate synthetic light curves and show that the high frequency slope of the resulting power spectrum depends on the local covariance model. We finish with a summary and a brief discussion of other possible astrophysical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberabc8f3
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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