Members of the HSFP are strongly supporting the EST (European Solar Telescope) project.


The European Solar Telescope

Observing the Sun like never before

EST, the European Solar Telescope, is a revolutionary 4-metre aperture telescope designed to investigate our active Sun at unprecedented resolution. Equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation, it will help scientists understand the magnetic coupling of the solar atmosphere. EST will be installed in the Canary Islands (Spain) to benefit from unique observing conditions. First light is planned for 2026.

EST is supported by the European Association for Solar Telescopes (EAST), involving 23 research institutions in 16 countries across Europe. It is included in the Roadmap of the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures (ESFRI) since March 2016. The project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 7395000.


Understanding our active Sun

The main goal of EST is to investigate the structure, dynamics, and energetics of the lower solar atmosphere, where magnetic fields continually interact with the plasma and magnetic energy is sometimes released in powerful explosions.

This requires observing fundamental processes at their intrinsic scales - less than 30 kilometres on the solar surface. To that end, EST is equipped with a 4-metre mirror, advanced adaptive optics, and a suite of innovative instruments for high-sensitivity, multi-wavelength spectropolarimetric observations.

Az EST will be used to peer into the workings of the solar atmosphere with unprecedented detail and solve long-standing questions such as: the structure and evolution of solar magnetic fields, including sunspots; the emergence of magnetic fields through the solar surface; the dynamics and heating of the chromosphere; the trigger mechanism of flares; and the magnetic coupling of the solar atmosphere.

EST. A technological challenge

EST represents a formidable technological challenge in many critical areas such as thermal control, adaptive optics, and instrumentation. Innovative solutions are being developed for the EST by the EAST partner institutions, in close collaboration with European industry. The construction of EST offers a unique opportunity for technological developments and industrial contracts to enhance European expertise in the design and fabrication of mechanical structures, optical elements, large-format detectors, high-precision scientific instrumentation, or data management systems.

Muti-conjugate Adaptive Optics (MCAO)

Thermal variations on small scales creates turbulence in the Earth's atmosphere and degrade the image quality. To minimise this problem, an MCAO system has been embedded in the EST design from the outset. It will correct the wavefront distortions arising from two separated layers of the atmosphere. A vigorous development program is being carried out by EST partners to improve the performance of MCAO deformable mirrors and wavefront sensors.

New instruments for 2D solar spectro-polarimetry

The properties of solar magnetic fields can be inferred through the analysis of spectropolarimetric observations. Slit spectrographs produce the most sensitive measurements, but they are slow because the solar surface needs to be scanned step by step to create 2D maps. EST will overcome this problem with innovative Integral Field Units based on multi-slit image slicers and/or microlens arrays. Prototypes are currently being developed by the EST partners.

The European Solar Telescope videos

Episode I: The Quest for sunspots

Episode II: The Quest for spicules

The European Solar Telescope (EST)

Reaching for the Sun

EST presentation

EST model

The European Solar Telescope calendar 2018, 2019

Calendar 2019

Calendar 2018

The European Solar Telescope brochure

EST (European Solar Telescope) brochure Versions in various languages

Hungarian brochure: European Solar Telescope, az európai naptávcső- A napaktivitás megértésének a szolgálatában

The European Solar Telescope Newsletter

EST Newsletter Autumn 2016

EST Newsletter Spring 2017

EST Newsletter Autumn 2017

Magyar Napfizikai Alapítvány

Hungarian Solar Physics Fundation

Last update: 2019 July © Copyright HSPF 2017