The Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik (KIS) conducts experimental and theoretical investigations of physical processes on and within the Sun. Its headquarters are at Schöneckstr. 6 in 79104 Freiburg, Germany. 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.
The number of employees is about 70. About half of the staff is scientific or technical or works in the administration, using computer equipment, laboratories for electronics and optics and a specialized library.
The institute was founded in 1943 by Karl-Otto Kiepenheuer at the Schauinsland observatory and has been carrying the name of its founder since 1978.
The institute is a foundation subject to public law of the federal state of Baden-Württemberg. Most of its basic funding comes from the state of Baden-Württemberg and the Federal Republic of Germany (represented by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research). In addition, the basic research performed by the institute as one of the members of the Leibniz-Association is financed by the other federal states according to the “Königstein” formula. Besides, the German Research Foundation and other organisations support diverse research projects of the institute.
The solar physicists at Freiburg cooperate with scientists and institutions within Germany and abroad.
KIS still operates the old solar observatory on the Schauinsland mountain near Freiburg, in particular for training and public outreach purposes.