EST-CZ

Name: European Solar Telescope – participation of the Czech Republic

Institution: Astronomical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Coordinator: Mgr. Jan Jurčák, Ph.D.; jurcak@asu.cas.cz

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The goal of EST-CZ is to ensure the participation of the Czech Republic in the realisation and operation of the EST (European Solar Telescope). The EST will be a research infrastructure focused on making observations of the Sun, the only star that can be investigated in high resolution and on which life on Earth depends. This 4-meter aperture solar telescope will be one of the two largest solar instruments worldwide. It will be located on the Canary Islands, where the best observation conditions in Europe are available. The EST will provide the most advanced observations that will allow us to understand the complex mechanisms governing the magnetic activity of the Sun and to study fundamental interactions between plasma, magnetic fields, and radiation in the stellar atmosphere. These data will also enable us to understand in greater detail energetic events that take place in the solar atmosphere that influence space weather and thus affect human technologies. The EST is the only planned research infrastructure focused primarily on the field of solar physics and unites the interests of this research community within the European Research Area. The realisation of the EST project will provide the user community with access to the most advanced instruments designed to observe the Sun. The institutes involved in the EST project will have the preferential right to use most of the observation time, but at the same time, it is planned to provide all the observed and calibrated data in freely accessible databases after a proprietary period of time. It is assumed that the construction of the EST will start in 2021 and the device will become operational in 2027. The EST project cannot be realised by any single European country alone, therefore the EAST (European Association for Solar Telescopes) consortium was established to coordinate the development, construction, and the future operation of the EST. Currently, the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) is being prepared to manage the EST project in the future. The EST will closely collaborate with the ESO ALMA observatory (Atacama Large Millimeter / Submillimeter Array), in which the Czech Republic is also involved.

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