Radiation heat transfer is concerned with the exchange of thermal radiation energy between two or more bodies. Thermal radiation is defined as electromagnetic radiation in the wavelength range of 0.1 to 100 microns (which encompasses the visible light regime), and arises as a result of a temperature difference between 2 bodies.
No medium need exist between the two bodies for heat transfer to take place (as is needed by conduction and convection). Rather, the intermediaries are photons which travel at the speed of light.
The heat transferred into or out of an object by thermal radiation is a function of several components. These include its surface reflectivity, emissivity, surface area, temperature, and geometric orientation with respect to other thermally participating objects. In turn, an object's surface reflectivity and emissivity is a function of its surface conditions (roughness, finish, etc.) and composition.