The European Solar Telescope to be presented in Portugal

EST will be presented in Portugal next Thursday, June 25th, at the Portugal EST Day. The event, aimed at scientists and companies, will take place online. Participation is free but requires registration.

  Picture of Coimbra University Campus with signs pointing to the main building, the museum, the astronomical dome, and spectroheliograph and the planetariumCampus of Coimbra University


The new European Solar Telescope (EST), to be built in the Canary Islands, Spain, will be presented in Portugal next Thursday, June 25th, at the “Portugal EST Day”, which will take place as a “webinar”.

Aimed at scientists and companies, the event is promoted by the University of Coimbra (UC), through the Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory (OGAUC), member of the European Association of Solar Telescopes (EAST) since 2019, and by the Center for Earth and Space Research (CITEUC). The initiative, which has the cooperation of Portugal Space -the Portuguese space agency-, aims at making Portugal a full member of the future European Solar Telescope. The goal of the “Portugal EST Day”, says astronomer Nuno Peixinho, “is to present the opportunities that this project offers to the Portuguese scientific and industrial communities”.

The researcher at the Faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Coimbra (FCTUC) explains that «variations in the solar magnetic activity induce terrestrial changes that can affect millions of humans on a short time scale. Solar phenomena can be very beautiful when seen through a solar telescope, fascinating when they look like entangled magnetic fields, amazing when they create intense northern lights ... But also devastating when we depend on technologies that they disrupt. These changes are, presently, a fundamental focus of space weather studies, a young field of research that was spawn from solar physics ».

Programme of the Portugal Info Day

In a world «increasingly dependent on satellite services, the perturbation of the signals we receive from them has increasingly extensive and global consequences. As thousands of satellites are projected and launched to provide us with precious wireless services, we increasingly need to predict the extreme phenomena that occur on the Sun and what their consequences are. And for that we need a new boost in solar physics and space weather», he observes.

Thus, the European Solar Telescope is the “response of the scientific community to this need to understand and predict solar behavior and its consequences here on Earth, especially the consequences for the technology we develop and use today. The construction of EST, in the Canary Islands, will guarantee the access of European Solar Physics to an essential tool for this research that we need», says the coordinator of the Science Promotion Unit of the Geophysical and Astronomical Observatory of UC.

The “Portugal EST Day”, also supported by Portugal Space and UC Business, includes interventions by EST coordinator, Manuel Collados, EST support scientist, Carlos Quintero Noda, and EST systems engineer, Miguel Núñez, from the IAC (Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias).

The program is available here. Participation is free but requires registration through this link.

For more information, please contact the Communication Office of Coimbra University (+351 91 7575022).