Outreach activities: Spreading the word about the EST

Published: Wednesday, 26 June 2019

 EST scientists and technicians do their best to share the excitement about the European Solar Telescope, not only in scientific meetings but also in festivals and conferences for the general public.

The EST model on display in the Spanish Amateur Astronomy Congress

The EST project actively participates in many outreach activities taking place across Europe, such as the European Researchers' Night, an initiative intended to build bridges between citizens and scientists. In 2018, the Researchers' night took place on September 28th. Activites were organised by EST scientists from Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (Granada, Spain), Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma (Italy), Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), and Università degli Studi di Catania (Italy).

Scientists from Università di Roma Tor Vergata (Italy) also took the stage for Pint of Science 2018, a global science festival that brings scientists to the pub to share their research with interested citizens. A similar initiative -Astronomy on Tap- saw EST scientists from the Institute of Theoretical Astrophysics in Oslo (Norway) go to the pub in June 2018.

EST documentary. A preview of the EST TV documentary, Reaching for the Sun, was showed during the Science and Technology Month in La Laguna (Spain), at the city's first exhibition of science documentaries (May 23-26, 2018). Reaching for the Sun (now in post-production) will be a 50 minute documentary on the history of solar observations. A journey across the last 400 years of solar observations that culminates in one of the the biggest challenges for the European solar physics community: the construction of the European Solar Telescope.

The documentary features 16 interviews with EST scientists and footage from five different observatories and eleven telescopes. It also features unique sites, such as the Accademia dei Lincei (Rome, Italy), where original documents from Galileo are kept. Once released, it will be offered to TV channels and festivals.

EST model. The EST model and several other promotional materials were brought to events such as the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science 2018 (the largest conference for European astronomy, held in Liverpool, UK), the XIII Meeting of the Spanish Astronomical Society (Salamanca, Spain), the XXX IAU General Assembly (Viena, Austria), the HINODE-12 Science Meeting (Granada, Spain), the AO4ELT6 conference (Quebec, Canada), the XXIII Spanish Amateur Astronomy Congress (Cuenca, Spain), and the Meeting of the Swedish Astronomical Society (Stockholm, Sweden). It was also on display at University College London (UK), Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (Granada, Spain), Max-Planck Institut für Sonnensystemforschung (Göttingen, Germany), Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (Germany) and Leibniz-Institut für Sonnenphysik (Freiburg, Germany).

The EST model was also displayed in the European Parliament (Brussels) from April 8-12, 2019, as part of the "100 Square Moons" exhibition organized by Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain). The model gives a realistic picture of the conceptual design of the EST, with a 120o cross-section to show its interior and the various telescope sub-systems.


Salvo Guglielmino (UNICAT) during the 2018 European Researchers' Night in Catania

Other outreach activities and public talks. Scientits and engineers from the Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergara (Italy), presented the EST in several public night observations, the Maker Faire and the Giornata Scienzia e Ambiente 2018 (this one in L'Aquila). They also participated in the Italian science TV programme C'è Spazio.

The Astronomical Institute of the Wroclaw University (Poland) presented the European Solar Telescope at the Lower Silesian Science Festival and the Dzien Odry, a one-day festival in Wroklaw devoted to children and families. In Austria, the University of Graz organised EST related activities for The Long Night of the Museums 2018, as did the Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik (Germany) for the Lange Natch der Wissenschaften 2018 and the Max-Planck Institut für Sonnensystemforschung (Germany) for the Natch der Wissens 2019. 

In Spain, the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias integrated EST in the exhibition "Feder Looks at the Sky" and the Young Researchers Day. In the UK, the University College London took part in the activities of the International Day of Light 2018. In Slovakia, the Astronomical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences participated in the "Weekend with the Academy" programme. Finally, the Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (AIASCR) presented EST in the Open Days of the Institute in 2018.

Still from the TV documentary "Reaching for the Sun"


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