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DIRT is a Java applet for modelling astrophysical processes in circumstellar dust shells around young and evolved stars. With DIRT, you can select and display over 500,000 pre-run model spectral energy distributions (SEDs), find the best-fit model to your data set, and account for beam size in model fitting. DIRT also allows you to manipulate data and models with an interactive viewer, display gas and dust density and temperature profiles, and display model intensity profiles at various wavelengths.
Ultraviolet photons from O and B stars strongly influence the structure and emission spectra of the interstellar medium. The UV photons energetic enough to ionize hydrogen (hν > 13.6 eV) will create the H II region around the star, but lower energy UV photons escape. These far-UV photons (6 eV < hν < 13.6 eV) are still energetic enough to photodissociate molecules and to ionize low ionization-potential atoms such as carbon, silicon, and sulfur. They thus create a photodissociation region (PDR) just outside the H II region. In aggregate, these PDRs dominate the heating and cooling of the neutral interstellar medium.
The PDR Toolbox is a science-enabling Python package for the community, designed to help astronomers determine the physical parameters of photodissociation regions from observations. Typical observations of both Galactic and extragalactic PDRs come from ground- and space-based millimeter, submillimeter, and far-infrared telescopes such as ALMA, SOFIA, JWST, Spitzer, and Herschel. Given a set of observations of spectral line or continuum intensities, PDR Toolbox can compute best-fit FUV incident intensity and cloud density based on our models of PDR emission.