Contributed Talk - Splinter Denkschrift   (H 0104)

The European Solar Telescope (EST)

Rolf Schlichenmaier, Sami Solanki, Hardi Peter, Markus Roth, Carsten Denker, and the EST Team
Leibniz-Institut für Sonnenphysik (KIS), Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung, Thüringen Landessternwarte Tautenburg, Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam (AIP)

The Sun is our closest star and the corner stone for our understanding of astrophysical processes and magnetic fields. High resolution observations of the solar atmosphere can be compared with three dimensional simulations of radiative magneto-convection and plasma physics to investigate large and small scale magnetic fields during the solar activity cycle. The magnetic fields created by the solar dynamo within the convection zone of the Sun are the ultimate cause of space weather. Understanding how the magnetic fields of the solar interior are connected and coupled through the photosphere, chromosphere, and the transition region with the solar corona and the solar wind is challenging. The European Solar Telescope (EST) was designed to study the dynamic magnetic connectivity of the solar atmosphere, from the deep photosphere to the upper chromosphere. As a polarimetrically compensated telescope with integrated multi-conjugated adaptive optics, EST will feed a suite of spectropolarimetric instruments that facilitates simultaneous observations of the different layers of the solar atmosphere at the highest possible photon flux and image quality. A novel set of instruments will allow us to significantly improve our capabilities to address critical science questions: How does the magnetic field emerge into the photosphere? How does it evolve, interact, and rise in a convectively stable stratification? What is the interplay between the magnetic field, reconnection processes, radiation, waves, and the transport of energy into upper atmospheric layers?