Scientists and engineers from the institutions making up the consortium for building the EST have met in La Palma to evaluate the end of the preparatory phase.
The European Solar Telescope (EST) project has finished the preliminary design phase of the sistemas and subsystems for what will be the largest solar telescope in Europe, in the framework of the european project PRE-EST.
With its primary mirror of 4.2 metres diameter, the EST will be a unique driving force for solar research in Europe. It is planned to start construction in 2024, in the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory (La Palma, Canary Islands). The aim of the EST is to investigate the structure, dynamics, and energy of the lower solar atmosphere, where magnetic fields are in continual interaction with the plasma, liberating magnetic energy, sometimes in powerful explosions. This requires observing basic processes on small scales, which means at less than 30 km on the solar surface. To do this, the telescope will be equipped with a system of advanced adaptive optics, and instruments designed for high sensitivity observations throughout the visible and near infrared spectral ranges.
Scientific researchers and engineers from 23 research centres have met in La Palma from September 27th to 29th to present the results of the various work packages comprising the preparatory phase, PRE-EST, which started in 2017, and in which contracts have been sent out for the design prior to the construction phase. After the ending of the PRE-EST the project begins an interim phase to finish defining the details before starting the construction phase, planned for 2024.
The day’s working session finished with a meeting with a number of institutional representatives in the CajaCanarias Cultural Space, where the documentary “Reaching for the Sun” was shown. This film, shot within the framework of the project, gives a brief look at more than 400 years of history of solar observation in Europe, since Galileo Galilei, and which puts the European Solar Telescope into the context of current research in solar physics.
The meeting reaches its high point today, with a visit to the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory to see at first hand the land finally chosen for the construction of the EST.
Proyección de “Reaching for the Sun” en Los Llanos de Aridane
To put the final touch to the event, a public projection of “Reaching for the Sun". The story of a magnetic star” has been organized in the Benahoarita Arqueological Museum in Los Llanos de Aridane.
It will take place today, 29th September at 20:00 h. Entry is free until the hall is full. Scientists and authorities connected with the European Solar Telesope Project will be present.