Software Installation

We will be using different pieces of software during the course. We strongly recommend that you install the software in advance following the instructions in this page.

Installing SalsaJ – (Such a Lovely Software for Astronomy in Java)

SalsaJ is a very nice image processing software that allows students to replicate scientific discoveries. So it is worth the effort to make it work 🙂 !!

  1. SalsaJ needs Java in order to be operational. Make sure you have the software installed in your computer and that you have the latest version installed. If you don’t have the software you can find it here:
  2. Once you have Java installed, it’s time to install SalsaJ. You will find bellow two different set of instructions: one for Windows users and another one for Mac users. Use the appropriate set of instructions for your computer.

You can also follow the steps indicated in this video tutorial (only in Spanish).

Installing PeterSoft

PETeR has its own software for viewing and analysing astronomical images, PeterSoft, specially designed for educational use. This programme allows working with images in FIT or FITS format, which are the formats used by most professional telescopes, including the Liverpool Telescope.

PeterSoft has tools to measure distance, brightness, obtain information from the image headers and use different filters for the visualisation of the images. It is a JAVA-based program, is available in English and Spanish and is very easy to install.

Instructions in Spanish here:

Steps to follow for installation:

  1. If you don’t have Java installed on your computer, go to the Java website at and click on the “Free Java Download” button, then install Java when it finishes downloading. You will probably need to restart your computer for it to be fully implemented.
  2. Download and run PeterSoft:
      • Download PeterSoft
      • Unzip the ZIP folder on your computer (2.25 MB)
      • Run the software:
        • On Windows: double click on the file “iniciar.bat” to open the program
        • On Linux: in the /PeterSoft/ folder type: java -jar FITS.jar
        • On Mac: double click on FITS.jar or enter the following command: java -jar FITS.jar

NOTES for Mac: When you install a non-Apple file on a Mac:
1. Click OK on the warning.
2. Click on the Apple menu.
3. Click “System Preferences”, click “Security & Privacy”, unlock the menu and click “Open Equally” next to the file name and then click “Open” when asked if you want to install the file.

Once you have opened the application, in the “Help” tab you will find the PeterSoft user manual.

If you want to change the default language (Spanish) to English, you can do so in the “View -> Languages” tab. Once you have changed the language, you will have to close the programme and open it again for the change to take effect.