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POWDERDAY: Dust Radiative Transfer for Galaxy Simulations

Narayanan, Desika and Turk, Matthew J. and Robitaille, Thomas and Kelly, Ashley J. and McClellan, B. Connor and Sharma, Ray S. and Garg, Prerak and Abruzzo, Matthew and Choi, Ena and Conroy, Charlie and Johnson, Benjamin D. and Kimock, Benjamin and Li, Qi and Lovell, Christopher C. and Lower, Sidney and Privon, George C. and Roberts, Jonathan and Sethuram, Snigdaa and Snyder, Gregory F. and Thompson, Robert and Wise, John H. (2021) 'POWDERDAY: Dust Radiative Transfer for Galaxy Simulations.', The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 252 (1). p. 3.


We present powderday (available at, a flexible, fast, open-source dust radiative transfer package designed to interface with both idealized and cosmological galaxy formation simulations. powderday builds on fsps stellar population synthesis models, and hyperion dust radiative transfer, and employs yt to interface between different software packages. We include our stellar population synthesis modeling on the fly, allowing significant flexibility in the assumed stellar physics and nebular line emission. The dust content follows either simple observationally motivated prescriptions (i.e., constant dust-to-metals ratios, or dust-to-gas ratios that vary with metallicity), direct modeling from galaxy formation simulations that include dust physics, as well as a novel approach that includes the dust content via learning-based algorithms from the simba cosmological galaxy formation simulation. Active galactic nuclei (AGNs) can additionally be included via a range of prescriptions. The output of these models are broadband (912 Å–1 mm) spectral energy distributions (SEDs), as well as filter-convolved monochromatic images. powderday is designed to eliminate last-mile efforts by researchers that employ different hydrodynamic galaxy formation models and seamlessly interfaces with gizmo, arepo, gasoline, changa, and enzo. We demonstrate the capabilities of the code via three applications: a model for the star formation rate–infrared luminosity relation in galaxies (including the impact of AGNs), the impact of circumstellar dust around AGB stars on the mid-infrared emission from galaxy SEDs, and the impact of galaxy inclination angle on dust attenuation laws.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:© 2021. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:23 October 2020
Date deposited:13 January 2022
Date of first online publication:13 January 2021
Date first made open access:13 January 2022

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