GalaxExplorer is a real-time 3D visualization tool aimed originally at visualizing spectroscopic redshift galaxy catalog. It is more a hobby project than an attempt to do a full featured visualization tool (like Paraview).


  • handle large number of particles (tested up to ~64 millions particles on a 4 GB memory laptop);
  • support for a number of point representation (points, spheres, tree hierarchical, textured), surface representation, and unstructured mesh representation with triangles (using Delaunay tesselation);
  • lagrangian transport of surfaces, with the surface representation mode.
  • multiple skyboxes for orientation dependent background;
  • real transparency through front peeling algorithm and GLSL shaders;
  • support for tracing the trajectory of  particles (currently require a large memory to load all particles and all timesteps, but online loading is planned);
  • automatic movie capturing;
  • remotely controllable through a D-Bus interface (a Python binding is included in the source package, data can be directly uploaded from python);
  • snapshoting of the current state and reloading.


  • QT4 toolkit
  • HealPix, for skybox support
  • OpenGL ≥ v2.1, some functionalities may require a higher version.

Getting GalaxExplorer

It is still in heavy development. If you are interested in testing it please contact me at lavaux_at_illinois_edu.


Coming soon…

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