Solving radiative transfer with line overlaps using Gauss-Seidel algorithms
Departamento de Astrofisica Molecular e Infrarroja, Instituo de la Estructure de la Materia, CSIC, Serrano 121, 28006 Madrid, Spain e-mail: [daniel;cerni]@damir.iem.csic.es
2 Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de l'Observatoire de Grenoble, 414 rue de la Piscine, BP 52, 38041 Grenoble Cedex 9, France
Accepted: 13 June 2008
Context. The improvement in observational facilities requires refining the modelling of the geometrical structures of astrophysical objects. Nevertheless, for complex problems such as line overlap in molecules showing hyperfine structure, a detailed analysis still requires a large amount of computing time and thus, misinterpretation cannot be dismissed due to an undersampling of the whole space of parameters.
Aims. We extend the discussion of the implementation of the Gauss-Seidel algorithm in spherical geometry and include the case of hyperfine line overlap.
Methods. We first review the basics of the short characteristics method that is used to solve the radiative transfer equations. Details are given on the determination of the Lambda operator in spherical geometry. The Gauss-Seidel algorithm is then described and, by analogy to the plan-parallel case, we see how to introduce it in spherical geometry. Doing so requires some approximations in order to keep the algorithm competitive. Finally, line overlap effects are included.
Results. The convergence speed of the algorithm is compared to the usual Jacobi iterative schemes. The gain in the number of iterations is typically factors of 2 and 4 for the two implementations made of the Gauss-Seidel algorithm. This is obtained despite the introduction of approximations in the algorithm. A comparison of results obtained with and without line overlaps for N2H+, HCN, and HNC shows that the –2 line intensities are significantly underestimated in models where line overlap is neglected.
Key words: line: formation / radiative transfer / methods: numerical / ISM: molecules
© ESO, 2008