T h o m a s  R i m m e l e
Site Director
National Solar Observatory, Sacramento Peak

At some point I signed up for an astronomy lab course at the Kiepenheuer Institut in Freiburg, which, just like the National Solar Observatory, focuses on Solar Physics. We went to observe the Sun using a telescope on a mountain in the nearby Black Forest. It was a very exciting experience and I have been in the field of solar astronomy ever since.

I did both my Masters and Ph.D. thesis at the Kiepenheuer Institut. The data for my thesis work I collected at the solar telescopes on Capri, Italy (now closed), Tenerife, Spain and at NSO's Dunn Solar Telescope at Sacramento Peak. While working on my Ph.D. thesis work I stayed at Sac Peak for an extended period of time to work on a joint instrumentation project. I immediately liked the place, the nice work atmosphere and the fact that there are always interesting science and instrumentation projects going on at the observatory. And since scientists tend to go where interesting things are going on I eventually decided to move to Sac Peak.

I think that things will become even more exciting now. We are planning to build a new, large, high tech solar telescope. It will be the biggest solar telescope in the world and we are all excited about this new project.

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