In 1931 the research station Jungfraujoch was inaugurated and extensive research started in the fields of physiology, meteorology, glaciology, radiation, astronomy, and cosmic rays. The Sphinx observatory, which was to become a symbol of scientific activity at Jungfraujoch for millions of tourists, was completed in 1937. A first astronomical cupola was installed at its roof in 1950. Due to the increasing demand for observation time and limitations in space two astronomical observatories were installed at Gornergrat in the late 1960’s as an integral part of the Foundation.
The Research Station became the base of operations for all scientific work. Today the building includes five laboratories, a pavilion for cosmic ray research, a mechanical workshop, a library, a kitchen, a living room, ten bedrooms, two bathrooms, and the living quarters of the custodians. Major equipment includes a machine to produce liquid air. Since the founding of the research station, its infrastructure has been, is and will be continually adapted to the needs of the users (electricity, water, telephone, chemistry and medical laboratories, liquid nitrogen as coolant, fax, internet).
The Sphinx observatory includes two large laboratories, a weather observation station, a workshop, two terraces for scientific experiments, an astronomical as well as a meteorological cupola. The astronomical cupola is no longer used for astromony research yet it is still equipped with a 76cm telescope. Since a large investment by the Jungfrau Railways in a terrace at the new Sphinx building, more possibilities for short-term experiments outdoors can be offered.
Jungfrau East Ridge
Lab space is available on the second floor and in the attic of the former Swisscom relay station at the Jungfrau East Ridge (3’700 m asl) since 2014.
Two custodian couples are present at the research station in alternating shifts all the time. They maintain the infrastructure, operate the guestrooms, and act as the hosts of the researchers and visitors. The custodians are also responsible for the daily weather reports to MeteoSwiss (the official Swiss meteorological agency) as well as for the constant supervision of a number of automatic scientific experiments and the sampling of air for the determination of different gas concentrations.