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Paper: LIME - the LIne Modelling Engine
Volume: 512, Astronomical Data Analysis Software and Systems XXV
Page: 225
Authors: Stewart, I. M.
Abstract: The Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array (ALMA) has begun to produce spectacular images showing the distributions of molecular excited states in a range of different cosmic environments. Understanding what is going on in these environments can be difficult however, partly because the objects are often optically thick, and partly because they may have complicated three-dimensional structures which are difficult to interpret given the sparse clues available from the observation. A helpful technique is forward modelling, in which the equations controlling the balance between radiation density and populations of excited states are solved for a chosen model, from which the expected appearance of the object in an ALMA observation can be predicted. LIME is a package for solving these equations on an adaptively-weighted grid of points for a three-dimensional object of arbitrary configuration. LIME can be used stand-alone but is rendered much more powerful if run inside the wrapper package ARTIST, which provides many features including a GUI, a convenient viewer, and access to a library of model templates. In this talk I describe recent advances in both packages, which include improvements to the solving and ray-tracing algorithms, integration of ARTIST within CASA, and a new interface to LIME which allows it to be more easily run from within a pipeline. The talk will be illustrated with examples of successful applications of LIME to ALMA images.
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