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FieldVis: A Tool for Visualizing Astrophysical Magnetohydrodynamic Flow

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5 Author(s)

Astronomers have long been challenged to test theories of observable phenomena at great distances from Earth. One such area of active research is the study of fast, collimated jets of ionized matter, or plasma, formed near massive black holes at the centers of distant galaxies. Our group is involved in magnetohydrodynamic simulations that track the time and space evolution of the full 3D velocity and magnetic vector fields, plus fundamental scalar fields such as density and pressure. To accomplish the complex visualization of these jets, we 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 our visualization package. Through our work, we found that streaklines with varying surface properties such as texture and color are the most effective way to extract information from our data. The techniques we used are not specific to astrophysical problems and can extend to other sets of vector and scalar fields. In the future, we plan to use FieldVis to visualize tangled magnetic fields in simulated galaxy clusters, as well as velocity and magnetic structures produced by intermittent jets

Published in:

Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 1 )

Date of Publication:

Jan.-Feb. 2007

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