yt development - HEALpix and Contour Tree
@ Matthew Turk | Monday, Feb 21, 2011 | 2 minute read | Update at Monday, Feb 21, 2011

This week there was not very much yt development. However, a few notes may be of interest. SamS has updated the HEALPix camera to support ordered projections; what this means is that you can now make volume renderings using a standard color transfer function, or even the Planck transfer function, that cover 4pi of the sky. I am still working on integrating a method for creating images easily, but for now the scripts from last week should work.

I worked a bit on improving the speed of the contour tree, but I am growing to suspect that a full new algorithm will have to be implemented. I have researching this, and I believe that the best method will require a ‘union merge’ data structure. Hopefully I will have something to report on this shortly. As of now, the contouring algorithm should be a factor of 10%-50% faster than it was a week ago, depending on the dataset characteristics. The idea of selection of astrophysical objects, rather than geometric objects, has been on my mind lately, and I committed a first pass at an API for this sort of selection. I hope to have more information about that in the near future, but I anticipate those development efforts to ramp up around the end of March.

yt extension modules

yt has many extension packages to help you in your scientific workflow! Check these out, or create your own.


ytini is set of tools and tutorials for using yt as a tool inside the 3D visual effects software Houdini or a data pre-processor externally to Houdini.


Trident is a full-featured tool that projects arbitrary sightlines through astrophysical hydrodynamics simulations for generating mock spectral observations of the IGM and CGM.


pyXSIM is a Python package for simulating X-ray observations from astrophysical sources.


Analyze merger tree data from multiple sources. It’s yt for merger trees!


yt_idv is a package for interactive volume rendering with yt! It provides interactive visualization using OpenGL for datasets loaded in yt. It is written to provide both scripting and interactive access.


widgyts is a jupyter widgets extension for yt, backed by rust/webassembly to allow for browser-based, interactive exploration of data from yt.


yt_astro_analysis is the yt extension package for astrophysical analysis.

Make your own!!

Finally, check out our development docs on writing your own yt extensions!

Contributing to the Blog

Are you interested in contributing to the yt blog?

Check out our post on contributing to the blog for a guide!

We welcome contributions from all members of the yt community. Feel free to reach out if you need any help.

the yt data hub

The yt hub at has a ton of resources to check out, whether you have yt installed or not.

The collections host all sorts of data that can be loaded with yt. Some have been used in publications, and others are used as sample frontend data for yt. Maybe there’s data from your simulation software?

The rafts host the yt quickstart notebooks, where you can interact with yt in the browser, without needing to install it locally. Check out some of the other rafts too, like the widgyts release notebooks – a demo of the widgyts yt extension pacakge; or the notebooks from the CCA workshop – a user’s workshop on using yt.

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