The European Solar Telescope (EST), is a 4-metre class aperture telescope designed to investigate our active Sun at very high spatial and temporal resolution and unprecedented polarimetric sensitivity. Equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation, it will help scientists understand magnetic coupling throughout the solar atmosphere. EST will be installed in the Canary Islands (Spain) to benefit from unique observing conditions. First light is planned for 2027.
The project is promoted by the European Association for Solar Telescopes (EAST) whose aim is to ensure access of European solar astronomers to world-class high-resolution ground-based observing facilities and keep Europe at the forefront of solar physics. Thanks to EU FP7 and H2020 funding, joint research activities have been carried out to determine the most advanced technological solutions that would allow the realization of this state-of-the-art 4-metre telescope. In March 2016, EST was included in the European Strategic Forum on Research Infrastructure (ESFRI) Roadmap and it is now in its Preparatory Phase. During this phase, the Science Requirements are being reviewed by the Science Advisory Group (SAG), taking into account both the advancement in our knowledge of the physics of the Sun and the progress in technology.
This upcoming EST Science Meeting aims at gathering scientists who wish to present their most recent theoretical and observational research in the field. The meeting will highlight the key science cases that will be addressed by the 4-metre class solar telescopes, and the synergies with both current and future ground-based and space-borne facilities. During the EST Science Meeting the main characteristics and science goals of the EST project will be presented to the scientific community to maximize the sharing of knowledge about the project and provide awareness of the potential telescope capabilities. It will also provide an opportunity to contribute to the definition of the telescope Science Requirements.
A Science Requirements Document, describing how and why the unique capabilities of EST will provide answers to several key science questions, will be presented at the meeting. EST will be the heritage of the entire solar physics community, and for this reason it is expected that the scientific community and in particular the EST Science Meeting participants, will contribute with science cases that will then be reflected in the Science Requirement Document.