Betelgeuse's bow shock (by Shazrene Mohamed) galactic centre star formation (by Richard Alexander) turbulence kelvin-helmholtz instability tidal disruption warped disc

SPLASH - A visualisation tool for smoothed particle hydrodynamics


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SPLASH is a free and open source visualisation tool for Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH) simulations in one, two and three dimensions, developed mainly for astrophysics. It uses a command-line menu but data can be manipulated interactively in the plotting window.

Data is read *directly* from the code dump format giving rapid access to results and the visualisation is advanced forwards and backwards through timesteps by single keystrokes.

SPLASH uses the SPH kernel to render plots of density and other physical quantities, giving a smooth representation of the data. The goal is to produce beautiful plots and visualisations from SPH codes, instead of simple particle plots.


Examples of plots produced with SPLASH can be found in the gallery or by looking at papers with figures produced using splash.


SPLASH is written in modern Fortran and comes packaged with the custom-built giza backend graphics library (written in C) which depends only on standard system libraries (cairo and X11).

The free and open source gfortran compiler can be used to compile SPLASH.


Feb 2021:
v3.x Latest releases are now on Github.

Documentation now on readthedocs

The SPLASH userguide is now hosted at

Documentation (user guide):

The SPLASH userguide is hosted at

Current Status

The current release can be found here. For a complete list of changes since previous versions see the git log.


There is also a paper describing the basic algorithms implemented in SPLASH, which should be cited whenever you use SPLASH for scientific purposes (cite as Price, 2007, Publ. Astron. Soc. Aust., 24, 159-173).


Install instructions

Current stable release:

See the github page for the latest stable release tarball.

Version history

SPLASH Mailing Lists

There are two SPLASH mailing lists (Google Groups): splash-announce and splash-users.

SPLASH-announce is a read-only list for release announcements. Very low traffic:

Subscribe to SPLASH announcements


Visit this group

SPLASH-users is the user forum (you can also email me directly, but I will in general cc. my responses to the users list for posterity):

Subscribe to SPLASH users forum


Visit this group