EST Documentary


Reaching for the Sun is a 52 minute television documentary on the history of solar observations. A journey through the last 400 years of solar observations culminating in one of the biggest challenges for the European solar physics community: the construction of the European Solar Telescope.


Watch the trailer





Shooting "Reaching for the Sun"

The documentary features 16 interviews with EST scientists and footage from five different observatories and eleven telescopes in Europe. 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 leading national TV channels and streaming platforms.



Documentary illustrations

The story in "Reaching for the Sun" is supported with high-quality illustrations, animations, and graphic resources. These elements are used to explain milestones in the history of solar physics research and various solar concepts through beautiful images, high artistic sensibility and scientific accuracy.






Directed and written by Emilio J. García

Executive producer and science supervisor: Luis Bellot

Co-executive producer: Emilio J. García

Producers: Manuel González and Óscar Huertas

Filming: Adri Sola

Director of photography: Isaac Baeza

Edition: Fran Vergara and Emilio J. García

Original Music: Rubén Martín

Narration: Lucy Brown

Script edition: Tim Loane (Queen's University Belfast)

Illustrations:  Eva Li

Animations: Antonio Corral and Manuel Casares - The Crocantes

Scientifics Infographics: Gabriel Pérez (IAC), Juan Manuel Ferrer (Arcan Studio), FabLab (ULL)





  • Richard Muller, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
  • Brigitte Schmieder, LESIA / Observatoire de Paris-Site de Meudon


  • Carsten Denker, Leibniz-Institute für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP)
  • Lucia Kleint, Leibniz-Institute für Sonnenphysik (KIS)
  • Sami K. Solanki, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research 
  • Meetu Verma, Leibniz-Institute für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP)
  • Oskar von der Lühe, Leibniz-Institute für Sonnenphysik (KIS)


  • Francesco Berrilli, Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata
  • Ilaria Ermolli, INAF - Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma


  • Luis Bellot, Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía  (IAA-CSIC)
  • Manuel Collados, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias 
  • Elena Khomenko, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias 
  • Reza Rezaei, Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias


  • Peter Gömory, Astronomical Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences 
  • Aleš Kučera, Astronomical Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences 
  • Ján Rybák, Astronomical Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences 


  • Göran B. Scharmer, Institute for Solar Physics, Stockholm University