Exploring the solar surface...
Sunspots
...from leader observatories...
Observatorio del Teide
...with premium quality skies
Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos
Applying tomorrow technologies...
High technology
...to build the best tool...
EST design
...to understand our Star.
The Sun

European Solar Telescope

The European Solar Telescope (EST) is a next generation large-aperture solar telescope. This 4-metre telescope will be optimised for studies of the magnetic coupling between the deep photosphere and upper chromosphere. This will require diagnostics of the thermal, dynamic and magnetic properties of the plasma over many scale heights, by using multiple wavelength imaging, spectroscopy and spectropolarimetry. To achieve these goals, the EST will specialize in high spatial and temporal resolution using various instruments simultaneously that can efficiently produce 2D spectral information. EST will be located in Canary Islands, one of the first-class locations for astronomical observations.

 

Why does this matter?

A consensus exists among solar astronomers worldwide that a significant increase in observing capability is needed to understand the fundamental processes that control plasma physics in the Sun's outer atmosphere, approaching the following key questions as a priority goal:

1. What can the Sun teach us about fundamental astrophysical processes? Observations of the Sun reveal intricate patterns of magnetic fields and the complex dynamics of a stellar atmosphere at the physically relevant spatial scales. 

2. What drives solar variability on all scales? The Sun varies on a wide range of spatial and temporal scales, displaying important energetic phenomena over the whole range. We do not fully understand and cannot accurately predict basic aspects of solar variability.

3. What is the impact of solar activity on life on Earth? Solar magnetic activity variations induce terrestrial changes, which can affect millions of humans on short and long time scales. We need to predict disturbances of the space environment, which are induced by the Sun and to understand the links between the solar output and the Earth’s climate.

 

What is the European added value?

European solar physicists unanimously share the view that a large aperture new generation solar telescope is needed to further understanding of the fundamental processes of plasma physics in the Sun’s upper layers. The construction of a ground-based large aperture solar telescope equipped, with adaptive optics and integral field spectropolarimeters for observing astrophysical processes at their intrinsic scale, would allow interaction between magnetic fields and plasma in the solar atmosphere to be observed.

Building EST will guarantee European Solar Physics access to an essential tool for ground-based solar research that will bring in scientific benefits not only in quantity but also of the highest quality. EST covers the gap as such large-scale telescopes for solar physics do not exist in Europe. It is not only a key reinforcement in the strategy of developing the European research area in this field but also in the development and internationalisation for the Canary Islands' Astrophysics Observatories. Moreover EST will give European industry, which is very well equipped for this type of project, a unique opportunity to make returns on its expertise in the field. 

 

 

The SUCOSIP process starts for the evaluation of a possible location for EST at ORM

Published: Monday, 18 November 2019

A proposal for the preferred location of the European Solar Telescope was presented to the International Scientific Committee of the Observatorios de Canarias. 


Artistic recreation of the proposed site for the European Solar Telescopio at Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos, near the Swedish Solar Telescope (lowermost facility) and the William Herschel Telescope (at the top left). / Photo: Gabriel Pérez (IAC)

 

The EST project presented a proposal to the International Scientific Committee of the Observatorios de Canarias (CCI) to consider a location near the Swedish Solar Telescope (SST, ORM, La Palma) as a preferential site for the telescope, following the decision adopted by the EST project Board on October 4th. The proposal was presented to the SUCOSIP (SUb-COmmittee on SIte Properties of the International Scientific Committee) during its meeting in La Laguna on Nov 13th. SUCOSIP is a committee of experts which, among other tasks, supervises the impact that proposed new infrastructures may have on existing facilities and recommends actions that could minimise this impact.

SUCOSIP acknowledged the excellence of the proposed site for solar observations, as has been demonstrated by the outstanding performance of the SST. The group recommended that the EST project perform further analyses to study the influence of the EST building and associated facilities on the nearby William Herschel Telescope, taking into account the particular wind profiles at the observatory. The impact on other minor surrounding facilities should also be analysed. SUCOSIP concluded that it is most important to carry out parallel solar site testing measurements at the SST and the Vacuum Tower Telescope (VTT), located at the Teide Observatory (OT, Tenerife) using the Wide-Field Wavefront Sensor installed by the Stockholm University at these two telescopes. The outcome of such parallel measurements will be most interesting for the diurnal characterisation of both observatories.

SUCOSIP presented these recommendations to the CCI during its 82nd meeting, held in the University of La Laguna on Nov 14th. The CCI agreed with the recommended actions. The process of evaluation will require further iterations in SUCOSIP´s future meetings before a final decision by the CCI can be taken.

Canarias Avanza Logo

European Solar Telescope
C/ Via Láctea s/n 38200 La Laguna, Spain

Contact: est@est-east.eu
Phone: +34 922 650 200

© Copyright EST 2019
Privacy policy

EST on Twitter EST on Twitter EST on Instagram EST on Instagram EST on LinkedIn