advanced radiative transfer in dusty systems
The home of the SKIRT project
© Astronomical Observatory, Ghent University.
SKIRT renderings of the simulated Eris galaxy (Guedes et al. 2011) in optical and far-infrared wavelengths.



The SKIRT project offers state-of-the-art software for simulating radiation transfer in dusty astrophysical systems such as galaxies, accretion disks, or star forming regions. At the project's heart is the C++ SKIRT code, which employs the Monte Carlo technique to emulate the relevant physical processes including scattering, absorption and emission by the transfer medium. The code features a wealth of built-in geometries, radiation sources, dust characterizations, spatial grids, and detectors, in addition to various mechanisms for importing models generated by hydrodynamical simulations. The configuration for a particular simulation is defined in a parameter file that can be constructed through a user-friendly command-line Q&A session, or with an optional graphical interface.

Another optional component of the SKIRT project is the "Python Toolkit for SKIRT", or PTS. The Python code in this toolkit can help prepare, postprocess, and visualize SKIRT-related data, or it can execute SKIRT simulations in automated contexts.

The SKIRT project is fully open source, including all C++ and Python code and the contents of this web site, and publicly available under liberal licensing conditions (see Legal Information). We invite you to use the SKIRT project's software for your work, and to interact with other users and/or contribute to the project (see Contributing). Results of applying SKIRT to various astrophysical models have been reported in many refereed publications (see Publications).

Project versions

This web site includes documentation for two versions of the SKIRT project. Version 9 is the current stable version and is recommended for any new projects. SKIRT 9 has been designed to allow a wide range of physics for dust and other transfer media. The code has been extensively tested, runs all available benchmarks, and is actively used for various science projects. It is fully documented, including tutorials, concept notes and reference material. PTS 9 is the corresponding new version of the Python toolkit for SKIRT.

Version 8 of the SKIRT project is now outdated; its documentation is provided here for legacy reasons.

Navigating this web site

You can navigate the SKIRT project web site by clicking the tabs in the bar at the top of each page. The three leftmost tabs allow you to come back to this home page and to select the respective entry pages for project versions 8 or 9. The other tabs adjust depending on where you are in the web site.

At the top level you'll find pages common to the complete project, including legal and contact information, guidelines for contributing to the project, and a list of related publications. At the first level down, for each version of the SKIRT project, you'll find pages with introductory material, tutorials, benchmark information, download links, and access points to more in-depth information on each of SKIRT and PTS. This in-depth documentation resides at the deepest level of the web site, offering an installation guide, a user guide, a developer guide, and full reference material for each project component and version. Below are direct links to some of these pages.

Source code repositories

The source code for the various SKIRT project components is hosted at in the following repositories.