The European Solar Telescope (EST), a new 4 meter class solar telescope to be built in the Canary Islands (Spain), will help solar researchers to discern the ultimate details of reconnection at the finest spatial scales thanks to its superb spatial resolution.
The science of EST
The science of EST is a series of short posts for social media where researchers talk in a plain language about a particular topic of their choice and how EST will improve our knowledge on that topic. The aim is to raise awareness among the general public about why solar physicists study the Sun, what the hot topics in today’s solar physics are, and how EST will leap forward our knowledge of the Sun.
With the advent of the 4-m European Solar Telescope, the surface of the Sun will be observed with unprecedented detail. Such measurements will help us understand the twisting motions responsible for the generation of vortex flows and waves that propagate higher up in the solar atmosphere.
We need the extreme capabilities of the European Solar Telescope in order to fully understand the role of spicules in the mass transport and heating of the outer solar atmosphere.
Coronal rain is one of the most striking features of the solar atmosphere. With the higher resolution of the European Solar Telescope, solar physicists will better understand their structure and formation.
Surges are solar ejections that can be as large as the Earth - or even bigger- and relatively cool (in solar standards), which makes them a very interesting topic to study. With the European Solar Telescope we will able to capture the elusive details of the physical processes that lead to surges.
Quiet Sun magnetic fields are thought to significantly contribute to the energy and heating of the solar atmosphere. The question is: how much?
Remember what slender Ca II H chromospheric filbrils are? The advanced optics of the future 4-m European Solar Telescope - EST will unveil these small-scale fibrillar structures, the waves they support and their magnetic fields.
Nanoflares are low energy events, difficult to observe due to their low X-ray energies. The European Solar Telescope will help us unveil these fast events.
Solar coronal jets are extremely fast ejections of hot plasma triggered by a physical mechanism known as magnetic reconnection. The European Solar Telescope will shed light on this interesting phenomenon.