FieldVis: A tool for visualizing astrophysical magnetohydrodynamic flow

Blayne Field, Sean O'Neill, Victoria Interrante, Thomas W. Jones, Timothy Urness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe, and their properties have been suggested to hold essential clues to the history of the universe's formation. Hot gas fills these clusters (in accumulation being more massive than the galaxies themselves), and astronomers use the gas's thermodynamic properties to analyze the clusters' histories. The enormous power of the fast, collimated jets of ionized matter, or plasma, formed near massive black holes at the centers of distant galaxies seriously complicates this analysis. What is not theoretically resolved is precisely how and where the jets do their work, and just how efficiently they do it. To accomplish the complex visualization of these jets, the authors developed FieldVis, a simulation tool that focuses primarily on representing 3D vector and scalar fields. Examining data from a sample 3D magnetohydrodynamic fluid simulation graphically illustrates the usefulness of their visualization package.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-13
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Computer Graphics and Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by National Science Foundation grants AST03-07600 and CST-0324898 and by the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute. We also thank Joe Kniss and his development of the volume-rendering software Simian.


  • FieldVis
  • Magnetohydrodynamic flow
  • Visualization


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