Weather: The weather in Glasgow/Central Scotland can be highly changeable. At this time of year it can range from bright sunny 20c weather down to 10c and wind/rain.

UK Info: The UK is on British Summer Time (BST) which is +1hour of GMT/UTC and -1hour of Central European Summer Time. The currency is British Pounds GBP and Bank of England and Scottish notes (Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale) are all generally accepted. Electricity plugs are the 3-pin UK type, so delegates from continental Europe will need an adpater.

IDL and SolarSoft

IDL We expect all delegates to attend with a laptop and running IDL version 6.0 or above. If you do not have an IDL license then you can request a trial license by following the 'evaluation' button on the following pages. (UK) (FR) (IT) (ES)

Please let us know as soon as possible (by emailing if you will NOT be able to bring a laptop running IDL 6.0 or higher.

If you have not used IDL before we suggest spending sometime getting use to it and its syntax. There are several IDL introduction guides on the web, for example

general IDL guide [PDF]
IDL for astronomers page, lots of hints

You can also type ? in the IDL command line to bring up the online help guide

SSW We will be working primarily with SolarSoft software, which we encourage you to try downloading and installing yourself or with the assistance of your computer system administrator. There have been a few problems with this process recently so we will have a back-up solution when you arrive at the workshop, but it is worth your while to try, as it helps you learn about setup etc. If you can't get it to work, don't worry, we will do it at the workshop. All information is at

To install SSW you have to fill out the SSW installation web form, selecting the appropriate missions. Once the form is submitted it will generate a *.zip containing several scripts. When the setup script is run it will create the directory structure on your hard drive and transfer the required files from online, so a fast internet connection is recommended. We recommend the following packages:

Hinode: EIS, SOT, XRT,
Orbital Observatories: TRACE, HESSI,
Yohkoh: HXT

The software install will require 1.5 GB of free space and at the workshop we will provide the datafiles, for which we recommend you free up an additional 5GB. In total you probably want 10GB free on your laptop.

Windows Users Before you begin you need to install the Perl scripting language on your system. This a free piece of software from, here is the current download link for Windows x86. You also need a zip file utility, but that is likely to be on most systems. One free example is 7-Zip