AstroMD is a package for supporting the visualization and analysis of astrophysical three-dimensional
structures. It was developed within the framework of the Cosmo.Lab project, financially supported by
the European Community,
which involved several European Astrophysical Institutions and the CINECA. This tool gives a 3D graphic representation
data exploiting the most advanced visualization technology based on virtual reality, and has several built-in-tools
which allow the user an efficient manipulation and analysis of data, in order to build a leading edge instrument for
scientific research. It was developed using the Visualization Toolkit (VTK) by Kitware, a freely
available visualization library portable on many platforms.
In the 2004 year, we published the final User Guide of AstroMD Version 3.1 (ISBN 88-86037-33-3) that was freely distributed to all the main international institutions involved in the astrophysical researches. In the following paragraphs we show the main features of AstroMD and the main results of the AstroMD statistical functions to a high spatial resolution N-body simulation of Large Scale Structures. AstroMD is an open source code freely available at the address http://cosmolab.cineca.it/.
AstroMD allows the user to treat both particles (unstructured data) and continuous fields, discretely represented over a computational mesh (structured data). The most common data formats used in cosmological simulations (i.e. Tipsy, HDF5) and in observational fields (i.e. Fits, ASCII) are loaded by AstroMD. The common unformatted C standard, written in a continuous sequence of x, y, z coordinates followed by any scalar field, is also loaded by AstroMD. AstroMD is capable of accessing data stored in a (local or remote) DBMS database.
The whole set of particles can be visualized but it is also possible to use a sub-sample of data, randomly extracted from the original data in order to get a faster and easier visualization. Data are visualized compared to a cubic box which describes the computational region. A cubic or spherical sub-region can be interactively selected inside the parent box with a different spatial resolution in order to focus on the most interesting regions. Data inside the sampler can be studied with the analysed tools or can be saved in specific files for an off-line analysis.