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

The exact configuration of this magnetic field is important to understand the different features seen in sunspots. In the umbra, the dark center, the field is oriented perpendicular to the surface, while it is more horizontal in the penumbra, i.e. the surrounding region with narrow radially oriented filaments. Parts of the magnetic field continues into higher regions, while some of it reverses its polarity and returns back into the Sun. In the left panel of the figure we show observation with the Hinode satellite of the penumbra of a sunspot. Regions where the field returns below the surface are colored in red and blue. In the red regions, the polarity reversal is just above the surface, while it occurs in higher layers in the blue regions. The right panel show measurements with the new GREGOR Infrared Spectrograph (GRIS) at the Observatorio del Teide on Tenerife. The amount of red and blue regions in this observation is significantly less than the one found in Hinode data. The reason for this difference is subject of current studies at the KIS.

 

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