Kiepenheuer Institute for Solar Physics

The Kiepenheuer Institute for Solar Physics (KIS) conducts experimental and theoretical investigations of physical processes on and within the Sun. Its headquarter is in Freiburg, Germany. The KIS operates the german solar telescopes at Teide Observatory on Tenerife (Spain) where most of the scientific observations are performed. KIS offers lectures on astronomy and astrophysics at Freiburg university and trains young scientists.

Picture of the Month

A highlight of first science results with GREGOR has been achieved by detecting the small-scale geometry of the magnetic field in a sunspot penumbra. Spectro-polarimetric data with GRIS@GREGOR reveals that 35 % of the penumbra area is covered with return flux, i.e., locations where the magnetic field has opposite polarity. Since the field strength of this downward-pointing component is small, this return flux only makes up 10% of the total magnetic flux in the penumbra. A careful analysis of the depth dependence of the magnetic field reveals that the return flux is only present in the deepest layers of the photosphere, which are probed using the four iron lines in the spectral vicinity of 1564.8 nm. This is the reason why the spectropolarimeter onboard HINODE using higher-forming iron lines around 630.2 nm cannot detect the return flux, while previous observations at 1564.8 nm with the VTT did not have the necessary spatial resolution.

This finding has important implications on the...

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Latest News

The 3rd SOLARNET / 7th HELAS / SpaceInn international conference "The Sun, the stars, and Solar-stellar relations" will take place in Freiburg (Germany) between 31 August - 4 September 2015, organized by the Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik (KIS). SOLARNET (High-resolution Solar Physics Network) is an international project promoted by the European Association for Solar Telescopes (EAST) and funded by the European Commission FP7. HELAS is the European Helio- and Asteroseismology Network, which aims at coordinating the activities of the research groups active in helio-and asteroseismology. The purpose of this conference is to discuss the latest questions and results in solar and stellar physics. Solar and stellar seismology will be one particular focus but contributions on all aspects of solar-stellar relations will be welcome. We aim to establish links and synergies between the day- and night-time fields of astrophysics. In detail the following topics will be addressed in individual sessions as showed in the Scientific Program. Furthermore new and upcoming projects and missions shall be presented. Graduate students and early-career postdocs are particularly invited to participate in the conference to present their research work and to meet and discuss with their more senior colleagues. A limited amount of financial resources shall be available to grant travel support. Contact: mroth(at)

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