Grid of Lyα radiation transfer models for interpreting distant galaxies

D. Schaerer, M. Hayes, A. Verhamme, R. Teyssier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Context. Lyα is a key diagnostic for numerous observations of distant star-forming galaxies, but detailed radiation transfer models are required for interpreting them. Aims.We provide an extensive grid of 3D radiation transfer models that simulate the Lyα and UV continuum radiation transfer in the interstellar medium of star-forming galaxies. Methods.We have improved our Monte Carlo McLya code and used it to compute a grid of 6240 radiation transfer models for homogeneous spherical shells containing Hi and dust surrounding a central source. The simulations cover a wide range of parameter space. We present the detailed predictions from our models including in particular the Lyα escape fraction fesc, the continuum attenuation, and detailed Lyα line profiles. Results. The Lyα escape fraction is shown to depend strongly on dust content, but also on other parameters (Hi column density and radial velocity). The predicted line profiles show a wide diversity of morphologies, ranging from broad absorption lines to emission lines with complex features. The results from our simulations are distributed in electronic format. Conclusions.Our models should be of use for interpreting observations from distant galaxies, for other simulations, and should also serve as an important basis for comparison for future, more refined, radiation transfer models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberA12
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


  • galaxies: ISM
  • galaxies: high-redshift
  • galaxies: starburst
  • radiative transfer
  • ultraviolet: galaxies


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