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HASTA - An introduction
  
1. Introduction
2. Educational Activities
3. Links
  
Introduction:
  
The release of a large amount of energy in sheared magnetic fields and the subsequent acceleration of charged particles is a common phenomena in the universe. Since solar flares, eruptive prominences and coronal mass ejections are the direct results of impulsive energy releases and can be resolved spatially, their observation is of crucial importance in the understanding of these phenomena.

In order to study the evolution of solar flares with high spatial (2.07 arcsec) and temporal (up to 0.5 sec) resolution from ground, a solar telescope in H-alpha (6563 A) has been set up at the OAFA High Altitude Station "Carlos U. Cesco" in El Leoncito, San Juan, Argentina, because of the unique clearness of the sky almost all year around. HASTA started operations on May 1998. HASTA looks at the full sun and through the south emisphere. It makes HASTA essential for large-range studies of phenomena such as loops interconnecting active regions, Moreton or other waves that spread all over the solar surface, and that are out of the spatial scope of most reduce field-of-view H-alpha instruments.

HASTA complements three other solar instruments which have been installed at El Leoncito: MICA, a mirror coronagraph to observe the solar corona above the limb from 1.1 to 2 solar radii, a submillimeter solar telescope (SST) for measurements up to far infrared, and a high resolution spectrograph (BLISP). By combining the observations of these four instruments new insights into the active Sun phenomena can be expected.

Educational Activities:

The El Leoncito School of Solar Physics (ELS), is organized yearly by the German institutions MPE (``Max-Planck-Institut für extraterrestrische Physik''), MPAe (``Max-Planck-Institut für Aeronomie''), and the Argentine institutions IAFE (``Instituto de Astronomía y Física del Espacio'', CONICET, Bs.As.), OAFA (``Observatorio Astronómico Félix Aguilar'', Univ. de San Juan) and CASLEO ("Complejo Astronómico El Leoncito", CONICET, San Juan). The ELS welcomes 15 students on their first degree in Physics or Astronomy, and graduate students starting their Ph.D.. The ELS is dictated in Spanish and English, because the school has been prepared mainly for latin-american students with good understanding of English. The ELS takes place at the OAFA High Altitude Station in El Leoncito, San Juan, Argentina (in the Argentinean Cordillera de los Andes). The first edition went in February, 2000, the second edition went in October, 2001 and the third edition went in november 2005.

There are also several students from IAFE and OAFA, making their First Degree or their PhD thesis using HASTA data.

   

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