SkyNet is a general-purpose nuclear reaction network for nuclear astrophysics applications.

SkyNet is available at

The original author and primary maintainer of SkyNet is Jonas Lippuner ( Luke Roberts ( has made substantial contributions.

A detailed methods paper describing SkyNet and the physics it implements has been published:

Lippuner, J. and L. F. Roberts (2017), "SkyNet: A modular nuclear reaction network library", submitted to ApJS,

The above paper should be cited in any academic work that uses SkyNet or is based on SkyNet.


It should be possible to compile and run SkyNet with any major Linux distribution and Mac OS. Microsoft Windows is not supported. See the INSTALL file for details about how to compile and run SkyNet.

Examples are provided in the examples directory.

For instructions on how to make movies with SkyNet, see README_make_movie.

There are a number of README files for specific machines where SkyNet has been tested.


SkyNet is distributed under the Revised BSD 3-Clause License. See the LICENSE file for details.


SkyNet can read JINA REACLIB database files that contain reaction rate fits for various nuclear reactions. A copy of a REACLIB snapshot is distributed with SkyNet in the data directory. REACLIB is available at

SkyNet uses TinyXML-2 developed by Lee Thomason, which is available at

SkyNet contains the Helmholtz equation of state developed by Frank Timmes, which is available at (specifically The Helmhotz EOS has been described in:

Timmes, F. X. and F. D. Swesty (2000), "The Accuracy, Consistency, and Speed of an Electron-Positron Equation of State Based on Table Interpolation of the Helmholtz Free Energy", Astrophysical Journal, Supplement 126, p. 501, doi: 10.1086/313304

The X-ray burst trajectory used in the tests was graciously provided by Hendrik Schatz. For details, see

Schatz, H., A. Aprahamian, V. Barnard, L. Bildsten, A. Cumming, M. Ouellette, T. Rauscher, F.-K. Thielemann, and M. Wiescher (2001), "End Point of the rp Process on Accreting Neutron Stars", Physical Review Letters 86, p. 3471. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.86.3471,

The original development of SkyNet has been funded by the United States National Science Foundation (NSF) under the Theoretical and Computational Astrophysics Networks (TCAN) program (award number AST-1333520).

This project has also been supported in part by the Sherman Fairchild Foundation and the JINA Center for the Evolution of the Elements (NSF grant PHY-1430152).