The European Solar Telescope will be installed on La Palma

IAC-European Solar Telescope (EST). Photo © Gabriel Pérez Díaz, SMM (IAC)

The International Scientific Committee of the Canary Observatories has given the go-ahead for the siting of the installation of the European Solar Telescope (EST) at the Roque de Los Muchachos Observatory (Garafía, La Palma). The decision, taken at the first of the biannual meetings of the Committee, held virtually, implies the construction of the largest European infrastructure dedicated to solar observations, and the strengthening of the position of the Canaries as the place with the largest concentration of solar telescopes in the world.

The committee, made up of representatives of all the countries involved in the Observatories, has made a positive evaluation of the proposal by the Project Office of the European Solar Telescope after receiving the recommendations of the Subcommittee for the Astronomical Characteristics of the Canary Observatories (SUCOSIP).

The EST will be sited in the area of the Swedish Solar Telescope (SST) and the Dutch Open Telescope (DOT) within the Roque de los Muchachos Observatory. The final site for the EST has been decided taking into account the conditions which a solar telescope has to satisfy to optimize its scientific results, avoiding perturbations due to nearby infrastructures.

The main aim of the telescope, which will give astronomers a better understanding of solar magnetic activity, will be research into the structure, dynamics, and energy flow in the lower solar atmosphere, to understand phenomena such as sunspots and flares with unprecedented accuracy.

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