Radiative transfer with opacity distribution functions: Application to narrowband filters

L. S. Anusha, A. I. Shapiro, V. Witzke, M. Cernetic, S. K. Solanki, L. Gizon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Modeling of stellar radiative intensities in various spectral passbands plays an important role in stellar physics. At the same time, direct calculation of the high-resolution spectrum and then integration of it over the given spectral passband is computationally demanding due to the vast number of atomic and molecular lines. This is particularly so when employing three-dimensional (3D) models of stellar atmospheres. To accelerate the calculations, one can employ approximate methods, e.g., the use of opacity distribution functions (ODFs). Generally, ODFs provide a good approximation of traditional spectral synthesis, i.e., computation of intensities through filters with strictly rectangular transmission functions. However, their performance strongly deteriorates when the filter transmission noticeably changes within its passband, which is the case for almost all filters routinely used in stellar physics. In this context, the aims of this paper are (a) to generalize the ODFs method for calculating intensities through filters with arbitrary transmission functions, and (b) to study the performance of the standard and generalized ODFs methods for calculating intensities emergent from 3D models of stellar atmospheres. For this purpose we use the newly developed MPS-ATLAS radiative transfer code to compute intensities emergent from 3D cubes simulated with the radiative magnetohydrodynamics code MURaM. The calculations are performed in the 1.5D regime, i.e., along many parallel rays passing through the simulated cube. We demonstrate that the generalized ODFs method allows accurate and fast syntheses of spectral intensities and their center-to-limb variations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA5
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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