Kiepenheuer Institute for Solar Physics
The Kiepenheuer Institute for Solar Physics (abbreviation: KIS; German: Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik) is a research institute located in Freiburg, Germany. Its research focuses on the exploration of the Sun and heliosphere. The institute has one solar telescope on the Schauinsland Mountain near Freiburg and, in collaboration with other institutions, uses solar telescopes of the Teide Observatory in Tenerife, Spain.
The Institute was founded in 1943 as the 'Fraunhofer Institute' by Karl-Otto Kiepenheuer. Kiepenheuer was director of the Institute from 1943 until his death in 1975. The Institute was renamed as the 'Kiepenheuer Institute for Solar Physics' to honour the founder of the Institute and to enable the Fraunhofer Society to call their own institutes (the first of which was founded in 1954), 'Fraunhofer Institutes'. Both Institutions had been named independently after the physicist Joseph von Fraunhofer, and they had no other connection besides the name.
The solar observatory at the island of Capri, Italy was founded in 1954. The Coudé refractor became operational in 1966, and from that time the solar telescope on the Schauinsland continued to be used only for testing equipment. For several years, the Capri observatory with its domeless telescope provided observation time to the institute.
In the early 1970s, the Institute searched for a suitable place to establish a European solar observatory, and Karl-Otto Kiepenheuer took an active part in this search. Finally the Spanish island of Tenerife was chosen, due its dry weather and stable atmosphere. In 1989, the Vacuum Tower Telescope became operational, with a 70-cm mirror and adaptive optics. The outpost in Capri was closed after the solar observatory at the Teide Observatory became operational.
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