The interpretation of stellar spectra and the birth of astrophysics
The Analysis of Starlight
Context. Stellar spectra synthesis is essential for the characterization of potential planetary hosts. In addition, comprehensive stellar variability calculations with fast radiative transfer are needed to disentangle planetary transits from stellar magnetically driven variability. The planet-hunting space telescopes, such as CoRoT, Kepler, and TESS, bring vast quantities of data, rekindling the interest in fast calculations of the radiative transfer. Aims. We revisit the opacity distribution
... city distribution functions (ODF) approach routinely applied to speed up stellar spectral synthesis. To achieve a considerable speedup relative to the state of the art, we further optimize the approach and search for the best ODF configuration. Furthermore, we generalize the ODF approach for fast calculations of flux in various filters often used in stellar observations. Methods. In a parameter-sweep fashion, we generated ODF in the spectral range from UV to IR with different setups. The most accurate ODF configuration for each spectral interval was determined. We adapted the wavelength grid based on the transmission curve for calculations of the radiative fluxes through filters before performing the normal ODF procedure. Results. Our optimum ODF configuration allows for a three-fold speedup, compared to the previously used ODF configurations. The ODF generalization to calculate fluxes through filters results in a speedup of more than two orders of magnitude.