A computer program for fast non-LTE analysis of interstellar line spectra*
With diagnostic plots to interpret observed line intensity ratios
Netherlands Institute for Space Research (SRON), Landleven 12, 9747 AD Groningen, The Netherlands e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany
3 Onsala Space Observatory, Chalmers University of Technology, 43992 Onsala, Sweden
4 Stockholm Observatory, AlbaNova University Center, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden
5 Leiden University Observatory, PO Box 9513, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
Accepted: 27 March 2007
Aims.The large quantity and high quality of modern radio and infrared line observations require efficient modeling techniques to infer physical and chemical parameters such as temperature, density, and molecular abundances.
Methods.We present a computer program to calculate the intensities of atomic and molecular lines produced in a uniform medium, based on statistical equilibrium calculations involving collisional and radiative processes and including radiation from background sources. Optical depth effects are treated with an escape probability method. The program is available on the World Wide Web at http://www.sron.rug.nl/~vdtak/radex/index.shtml. The program makes use of molecular data files maintained in the Leiden Atomic and Molecular Database (LAMDA), which will continue to be improved and expanded.
Results.The performance of the program is compared with more approximate and with more sophisticated methods. An Appendix provides diagnostic plots to estimate physical parameters from line intensity ratios of commonly observed molecules.
Conclusions.This program should form an important tool in analyzing observations from current and future radio and infrared telescopes.
Key words: radiative transfer / methods: numerical / radio lines: ISM / infrared: ISM / submillimeter
© ESO, 2007