A new ionization network and radiation transport module in pluto

Kartick C. Sarkar*, Amiel Sternberg, Orly Gnat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We introduce a new general-purpose time-dependent ionization network (IN) and a radiation transport (RT) module for the magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) code pluto. Our IN is reliable for temperatures ranging from 5 × 103 to 3 × 108 K and includes all ionization states of H, He, C, N, O, Ne, Mg, Si, S, and Fe, making it suitable for studying a variety of astrophysical scenarios. Radiation loss for each ion-electron pair is calculated using cloudy-17 data on the fly. Photoionization and charge exchange are the main processes contributing to chemical heating. The IN is fully coupled to the RT module over a large range of opacities at different frequencies. The RT module employs a method of short characteristics assuming spherical symmetry. The radiation module requires the assumption of spherical symmetry, while the IN is compatible with full 3D. We also include a simple prescription for dust opacity, grain destruction, and the dust contribution to radiation pressure. We present numerical tests to show the reliability and limitations of the new modules. We also present a post-processing tool to calculate projected column densities and emission spectra.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)5807-5825
Number of pages19
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Royal Astronomical Society.


  • ISM: H ii regions
  • methods: numerical
  • radiative transfer


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