Gregor Solar Telescope
The 1.5 m solar telescope GREGOR was built at the Observatorio del Teide by a German consortium led by the Leibniz-Institut for Solar Physics (KIS), with the Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik Potsdam, the Max-Planck-Institut für Sonnensystemforschung Lindau and the Institut für Astrophysik Göttingen (until 2008) as partners. The Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias and the Astromomical Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic contributed to the telescope or the instrumentation. Since 2014 GREGOR is used for scientific observations.
GREGOR is the largest solar telescope in Europe. It is designed for observations of the solar photosphere and chromosphere in the visible and near infrared.
The Scientific Instrumentation includes BBI, GRIS, GFPI, BIC/HIFI, and ZIMPOL. GREGOR is equipped with a high-order adaptive optics system.
Links to manuals
Leibniz-Institut fuer Sonnenphysik (KIS): Documentation (leibniz-kis.de)
Swedish Solar Telescope – SST
The Swedish 1-m Solar Telescope (SST) is operated by the Institute for Solar Physics of Stockholm University and located within the Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos of the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias on the island of La Palma, Spain. The SST replaced the previous 50 cm Swedish Vacuum Solar Telescope (SVST) that had been a world leading solar research instrument for more than ten years. The clear aperture of the front lens of the SST has a diameter of just under 1 meter. Located on the best known site for solar telescopes in the world, it can see details as small as 70 km on the solar surface. This requires the use of adaptive optics, that correct for the blurring caused by the Earth’s atmosphere by controlling the shape of a deformable mirror ~1000 times per second. The SST is the first solar telescope that is designed for use with such a mirror.
SUNRISE is a balloon-borne solar observatory dedicated to the investigation of the key processes governing the physics of the magnetic field and the convective plasma flows in the lower solar atmosphere. These processes are crucial for our understanding of the magnetic activity of the Sun and of the outward transport of energy to heat its outer atmosphere and to fuel the eruptions and coronal mass ejections, i.e. phenomena that also affect the Earth system.
Currently, the 3rd flight of Sunrise is being prepared. Sunrise-3 will be launched in June 2021 from ESRANGE (Kiruna, North-Sweden) with a completely new post-focus instrument suite.
Telescope Héliographique pour l’Etude du Magnétisme et des Instabilités Solaires – THEMIS
THEMIS is a joint operation from France (CNRS/INSU) and and Italy (INAF) national research agencies. It is located at Izaña, 2400 m, within the Teide Observatory from the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, on the island of Tenerife. THEMIS stands for “Télescope Héliographique pour l’Etude du Magnétisme et des Instabilités Solaires”. It is a 90 cm usefull aperture solar telescope, and currently the third larger in the world. Its specific design allows for high-accuracy spectropolarimetry of the solar surface together with monochromatic high resolution imaging.
Vacuum Tower Telescope – VTT
The VTT (Vacuum Tower Telescope) is operated under the leadership of the KIS (60%) in cooperation with the AIP (20%) and the MPS (20%). It is a classical solar telescope: two Coelostat mirrors feed the sunlight into the telescope. The primary mirror has a diameter of 70 cm and a focal length of 46 m. The telescope is located in a building with a height of some 38 m spanning more than 10 floors.
The picture to the right shows an example of the image quality achievable with the VTT: a sunspot taken with a narrow band filter (1nm) around Ca II H. Its pixel size is 0.06 arc sec (and was recorded simultaneously during a TESOS observation).