OpenSpace: A System for Astrographics

Alexander Bock, Anders Ynnerman, Emil Axelsson, Jonathas Costa, Gene Payne, Micah Acinapura, Vivian Trakinski, Carter Emmart, Claudio Silva, Charles Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human knowledge about the cosmos is rapidly increasing as instruments and simulations are generating new data supporting the formation of theory and understanding of the vastness and complexity of the universe. OpenSpace is a software system that takes on the mission of providing an integrated view of all these sources of data and supports interactive exploration of the known universe from the millimeter scale showing instruments on spacecrafts to billions of light years when visualizing the early universe. The ambition is to support research in astronomy and space exploration, science communication at museums and in planetariums as well as bringing exploratory astrographics to the class room. There is a multitude of challenges that need to be met in reaching this goal such as the data variety, multiple spatio-Temporal scales, collaboration capabilities, etc. Furthermore, the system has to be flexible and modular to enable rapid prototyping and inclusion of new research results or space mission data and thereby shorten the time from discovery to dissemination. To support the different use cases the system has to be hardware agnostic and support a range of platforms and interaction paradigms. In this paper we describe how OpenSpace meets these challenges in an open source effort that is paving the path for the next generation of interactive astrographics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8805462
Pages (from-to)633-642
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020


  • Astrographics
  • astronomy
  • astrophysics
  • system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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