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As part of my research in astronomy (quasar magnitudes at various wavelengths), I've been producing graphs such as the following: enter image description here

enter image description here

The bottom plot on each graph shows the distribution of the residuals for the top plot on the graph. I can see that in the first graph, the residuals seem to have a concave upwards trend, while in the bottom graph, they're pretty randomly distributed around 0. I feel that I should point this out in my written report, since I'm using OLS to determine the trend in the magnitudes, but since my research isn't actually about statistics, would it be enough that I say something like "I assumed homoscedasticity since visual inspection showed the residuals to be randomly distributed", or is this frowned upon by statisticians?

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    $\begingroup$ (+1) I'm usually grateful that the paper's author actually even knows about the homoscedasticity assumption and gave it some thought: that puts you ahead of the vast majority of people who use OLS. Incidentally, for your data there's much more that could be said. There is a suggestion of positive skewness in the first set of residuals, making it likely that a simple nonlinear transformation of the response values might simultaneously make the residuals more symmetrically distributed and eliminate some (but not all of) that curved lack of fit you noticed. $\endgroup$ – whuber Sep 6 '18 at 21:06
  • $\begingroup$ @whuber is it positive skewness or do the residuals not seem to be distributed with zero mean as a function of redshift $z$? The issue here is not so much heteroscedasticity but much more an unequal distribution (weight) among the parameter $z$ plus an wrong model. So the "erroneous" model is gonna follow the (locally linear) trend in that high density bulk with $0.2<log(z)<0.6$ but should not be regarded as representative for other areas. $\endgroup$ – Martijn Weterings Sep 7 '18 at 14:54

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