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Radiative Transfer in Molecular Clouds

  • M. Juvela (a1)

Abstract

Information of astronomical objects is obtained mainly through their radiation. Thus, the radiative transfer problem has a central role in all astrophysical research. Basic radiative transfer analysis or more complex modeling is needed both to interpret observations and to make predictions on the basis of numerical models. In this paper I will discuss radiative transfer in the context of interstellar molecular clouds where the main scientific questions involve the structure and evolution of the clouds and the star formation process. The studies rely on the analysis of spectral line and dust continuum observations. After a discussion of the corresponding radiative transfer methods, I will examine some of the current challenges in the field. Finally, I will present three studies where radiative transfer modeling pays a central role: the polarized dust emission, the Zeeman effect in emission lines, and the continuum emission from dense cloud cores.

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Radiative Transfer in Molecular Clouds

  • M. Juvela (a1)

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