Preparatory Phase for the European Solar Telescope

The European Solar Telescope (EST) will be a revolutionary Research Infrastructure that will play a major role in answering key questions in modern Solar Physics.

Solar telescope
The European Solar Telescope (EST) is a next generation large-aperture solar telescope. With a 4.2-metre primary mirror, it will be optimised for studies of the magnetic coupling of the solar atmosphere. This will require diagnostics of the thermal, dynamic and magnetic properties of the plasma over many scale heights, by using multi-wavelength imaging, spectroscopy and spectropolarimetry. EST will specialise in high spatial and temporal resolution, using several instruments simultaneously to efficiently produce 2D spectral information. Image and text: EST

About the project

This 4-meter class solar telescope, to be located in the Canary Islands, will provide solar physicists with the most advanced state-of-the-art observing tools to transform our understanding of the complex phenomena that drive the solar magnetic activity.



The principal objective of the present Preparatory Phase is to provide both the EST international consortium and the funding agencies with a detailed plan regarding the implementation of EST.

The specific objectives of the preparatory phase are:

1) To explore possible legal frameworks and related governance schemes that can be used by agencies to jointly establish, construct and operate EST as a new research infrastructure, with the implementation of an intermediate temporary organisational structure, as a previous step for future phases of the project.

2) To explore funding schemes and funding sources for EST, including a proposal of financial models to make possible the combination of direct financial and in-kind contributions towards the construction and operation of EST.

3) To compare the two possible sites for EST in the Canary Islands Astronomical Observatories and prepare final site agreements.

4) To engage funding agencies and policy makers for a long-term commitment which guarantees the construction and operation phases of the Telescope.

5) To involve industry in the design of EST key elements to the required level of definition and validation for their final production.

 6) To enhance and intensify outreach activities and strategic links with national agencies and the user communities of EST.

See the trailer of the documentary "Reaching for the Sun" on the EST website (external link).


EU Horizon 2020


The 4-year project is promoted by the European Association for Solar Telescopes (EAST) and the PRE-EST consortium, encompassing 23 research institutions from 16 countries.

Time frame

01.02.2017 - 31.03.22

Tags: The European Solar Telescope, EST
Published Nov. 20, 2020 12:12 PM - Last modified Dec. 13, 2021 4:47 PM