The European Solar Telescope (EST) is a 4-metre class telescope dedicated to study the fundamental processes in the Sun that control the solar atmosphere and its activity. EST will be optimised for high-resolution multi-wavelength simultaneous multiinstrument observations of the photosphere and chromosphere, as well as magnetic structures therein. One aim is to address the still unresolved and complex question concerning the emergence of magnetic fields at the solar surface and transfer of magnetic and kinetic energy from subsurface layers to the solar atmosphere. Understanding the interaction of plasmas with magnetic fields will also have many technological implications, for example in fusion nuclear reactors. Space missions are also tributary of data from ground solar telescopes.
Entered in the ESFRI Roadmap 2016, EST is the result of the effort of the solar physics community organised through EAST and under SOLARNET, GREST, PRE-EST and SOLARNET H2020 projects. Currently in Preparation Phase, EST will be built in the Canary Islands, a first-class site for astronomical observations, where the current aging telescopes are already situated. Operation of the telescope will progressively implement queue mode observing, which is standard for night-time telescopes, allows optimisation of the observations, and does not require on-site presence of the beneficiary. The design of all subsystems prior to construction will be accomplished by the end of 2022. In parallel, contacts are taking place for consolidation of national contributions to the budget and the creation of an ERIC.
Canary Islands, Spain