We present the design of a new ultrahigh vacuum scanning tunneling microscope (STM) which operates at T≪20 K inside the bore of a 2.5 T superconducting split-coil magnet. The tip/sample region can easily be controlled visually, thus allowing safe and fast exchange of samples and tips while the microscope stays at low temperatures. A newly developed rotary motion stepper motor is presented which allows rotation of the sample by ≫270° about an axis perpendicular to the tip axis. This feature allows metal or molecular beam evaporation normal to the sample surface. Even more important, by means of this device tip and sample can be brought into a parallel or antiparallel magnetic configuration thus opening a novel approach to the study of magnetic phenomena on an atomic length scale. In addition, measurements of the magneto-optical Kerr effect can be carried out without removing the sample from the STM. Also a new tip exchange mechanism is described. The microscopic and spectroscopic performance of the new instrument is illustrated on Au(111)/mica, on Tb(0001)/W(110), and on Gd(0001)/W(110). © 2000 American Institute of Physics.