The assumption of spherical symmetry is not justified for the vast majority of PNe. The interpretation of spatially-resolved observations cannot rely solely on the application of 1D codes, which may yield incorrect abundances determinations resulting in misleading conclusions. The 3D photoionisation code MOCASSIN (Monte CArlo SimulationS of Ionised Nebulae) is designed to remedy these shortcomings. The 3D transfer of both primary and secondary radiation is treated self-consistently without the need of approximations. The code was benchmarked and has been applied to the study of several PNe. The current version includes a fully self-consistent radiative transfer treatment for dust grains mixed within the gas, taking into account the microphysics of dust-gas interactions within the geometry-independent Monte Carlo transfer. The new code provides an excellent tool for the self-consistent analysis of dusty ionised regions showing asymmetries and/or density and chemical inhomogeneities. Work is currently in progress to incorporate the processes that dominate the thermal balance of photo-dissociation regions (PDRs), as well as the formation and destruction processes for all the main molecular species.
Planetary Nebulae in our Galaxy and Beyond
- Pub Date:
- 3 pages, to appear in Proc. IAU Symp. 234, Planetary Nebulae in Our Galaxy and Beyond (3-7 Apr 2006), eds. M.J. Barlow &