Phase 2: Programming Observations

This page is for astronomers with Phase 1 proposals that have been accepted, and who have been awarded observing time on the LT. Users will be informed by email when their proposal is ready to be populated with observations.

Phase 2 User Interface

Successful applicants with time allocated on the LT must submit their observations using the Phase 2 User Interface (phase2UI), an online Java tool. Note that observations will NOT be prepared by LT staff, though users are welcome to contact phase 2 support should they have questions about the process or comments.

There are three mechanisms to launch the phase2UI. Any of these perform the same function of keeping your local installation synchronised with the latest version running on the telescope. This ensures you always have an up-to-date list of available instruments, filters etc.

  • Java Webstart: The older mechanism we have used for many years on LT. It is no longer widely supported by all Java versions due to licensing restrictions. It may become deprecated in the future though currently still works well, is robust and reliable. Requires a Java runtime environment (JRE) to be installed on your machine. If your local site IT policies do not permit you to install a JRE, you will not be able to use this deployment.
  • JDeploy: Does not require you to install a general purpose, system-wide Java runtime environment on your computer. This bundles the executable Java into the phase2UI so it looks and behaves more like any other standalone, executable application you might install. Being self-contained, with fewer external dependencies, this is likely to be a better choice on shared terminals or machines managed by someone else where you do not have system administrator privileges. Currently it is not reliable on linux machines. There is a Linux download available that you can try and we would be grateful to hear from anyone who tests it, but most Linux users should generally stick to using the Webstart version for now.
  • VM Appliance: We also provide an Open Virtualization Format virtual machine appliance which allows you to run the phase2UI within a virtual machine. This sandboxes the application inside the VM and means you are never installing anything on your local operating system. The download is huge and cumbersome to run. Functionally it offers no advantage if either of the others works for you. Instructions for using the phase2ui VM appliance

Which Version Should I Download?

phase2UI Version Likely to be best for...
  • Intel-based MacOS ≥10.10 Yosemite
  • Apple silicon MacOS
  • Windows ≥7
  • Any computer for which you do not have the 'root', 'super user' or 'Administrator' privileges.
  • Intel-based MacOS ≤10.9 Mavericks
  • Linux
VM appliance
  • Last resort if neither of the others work.

Whichever method you choose to launch the application, once it is running they are all exactly identical. To help new users become accustomed with the system, a "Getting Started" tutorial is provided. A Comprehensive Guide is also available. Returning users may simply wish to refer to the instrument-specific pages provided below. As ever, if you have any queries not covered in the tutorial or instructions, please contact LT Phase 2 Support.

JDeploy Launch phase2UI
Getting Started (tutorial)
Introduction and Instructions
Webstart Launch phase2UI
Getting Started (tutorial)
Introduction and Instructions
  • System requirements
  • » Java 8 JRE, available from (Note that though Java8 dates from 2014 and there are much higher versions available. Do not use them. Java8 is a stable, long-term-support version maintained with all security patches and is the default distribution from the link above.)
  • » any of Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome or Internet Explorer

The phase2UI has been tested on a wide range of common OS and browser combinations, but if you find any problems please contact LT Phase 2 Support.

User Interface Instructions and Tutorials

The sky brightness model in detail [link]