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A full box slice of the TNG300-1 simulation is shown in projection, with a depth equal to one third of the entire volume, at z=0. The 'Google Maps' style interface allows you to pan and zoom to regions or specific objects of interest. You can switch between different views of the gas, dark matter, or stars using the layer menu in the upper right corner. A second field can be overlaid on top, in which case the small scrollbar crossfades between the two. Details on the locations and properties of galaxies and halos can be added on top (as in the original Illustris explorer, using the data access API).
This interface is an experiment in the exploration, visualization, and dissemination of massive data sets -- in particular, those generated by large, astrophysical simulations such as IllustrisTNG. With total data volume of the order ~1 PB, all three of these tasks become increasingly difficult. A powerful approach is thin-client interaction with derived data products (e.g. group catalogs, merger trees) with a relational database, combined with on-demand, server side data processing of the raw data (e.g. full snapshots). Leveraging many modern web technologies we can build this interface within the browser, separating the user from the details of the data storage and processing, and making access instant and platform agnostic. The image layers are 2^17 pixels on a side, for a total of ~16 Gigapixels each.
The 'Explorer2D' frontend interface, backend functionality, and image layers were created by Dylan Nelson.
We are using the Leaflet tile map renderer.
The stellar light imagery is courtesy of Shy Genel.
Questions/comments? Contact Dylan Nelson.