More than 600 scientists are actively involved in Solar Physics research in Europe. The project works to integrate the major European infrastructures in the field of high-resolution solar physics.
Funded by the European Commission SOLARNET aspires at integrating:
all group of scientists with complementary expertise in observational techniques, instrumentation, theoretical astrophysics, numerical simulations and modelling.
- the major European research institutions, research infrastructures, and data repositories in the field of high-resolution solar physics.
Foster Networking Activities & Mobility Programmes
- integrate small communities and foster European collaboration. The additional participation by private companies and non-European research institutions is expected to maximize the impact on the world-wide scale.
- increase the impact of high-resolution data by offering science-ready data and facilitating their retrieval and usage.
- train a new generation through student schools, a mobility program, and grant program to attend conferences.
- dissemination activities towards society
Conduct Joint Research Activities
- foster synergies between observational and theoretical research communities by organising meetings, where each present state-of-the-art methodologies.
- lay foundations for a combined use of synoptic and high-resolution facilities on ground and in space.
- enhance and spread data acquisition and processing expertise to the Europe-wide community.
- develop innovative post-focus instrumentation.
Ensure Access & Research Infrastructures
- realise transnational access to all European users.
- encourage the combination of space and ground-based data by providing unified access to pertinent data repositories.
- develop and build next-generation devices to correct for atmospheric turbulence.
It also aims to serve as a repository of information for the European Solar Physics (EUSP) community, with community news, information about national and international conferences, employment and study opportunities, solar missions, and computing resource.
The strategy of the SOLARNET project is is to widen the usage and facilitate multidisciplinary research activities, and to be the best support for the solar science community in Europe.
The entire solar community will experience a significant qualitative leap forward in addressing the most urgent questions of solar astrophysics which revolve around understanding solar magnetic activity by carrying out the activities of this project.
Solar magnetism is one of the great challenges of astrophysics. The intricate structure of the Sun's magnetic fields, the solar activity cycle and the solar influence on the heliosphere represent major quests which bear directly on the human environment.
European countries have designed, constructed and operated, during the last two decades, a number of telescopes and instruments in the field of high-spatial resolution solar physics in order to study the mechanisms of interaction between the plasma and the magnetic field. These facilities are among the best ones world-wide and, frequently, they are taken as reference infrastructures for the future development of new telescopes.
EU Horizon 2020
The availability and improvements of the infrastructures, the transfer of knowledge and data analysis techniques through SOLARNET and the training of the next generation of scientists will achieve a structuring of this field of research that is currently needed in order to prepare the European research community for the next level of high- resolution observations in the immediate future. These opportunities further include:
The US Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST, commissioning 2020). DKIST is a high-resolution telescope on the Hawaiian island Maui, separated from the Canaries by a time difference of 11 hours. European scientists participate in the definition of the DKIST science plan and contribute instruments.
ESA’s space mission Solar Orbiter (launched February 2020), which will allow studying those regions of the Sun by helioseismology in detail that remained largely unexplored in the past. These are the solar polar regions, and in combination with front side observations, will provide an improved coverage of scientific inferences on the Sun from the deep interior to the complex atmosphere.
The European Solar Telescope (EST, completion expected by 2026), which will be a 4-metre class solar telescope to be installed in the Canary Islands. It will be optimized for high-resolution studies of magnetic activity on the solar surface and in the solar atmosphere.