Third ESO Astronomy Camp for Secondary School Students

Win a Free Astronomy Trip to the Alps

25 May 2015

ESO and its Science Outreach Network are collaborating with the science education event organiser Sterrenlab to arrange the third ESO Astronomy Camp on the topic of the Solar System and Extrasolar Planets. The camp will take place from 26 December 2015 to 1 January 2016 at the Astronomical Observatory of the Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley, located in Saint-Barthélemy, Nus, Italy. Several partners, including ESO, are providing bursaries that will be awarded to the winning applicants.

The camp will explore the theme of the Solar System and exoplanets through several astronomical sessions, including lectures, hands-on activities, and night-time observations with the telescopes and instruments at the observatory. Social activities, winter sports, and excursions will contribute to making the camp a memorable experience for the participants. ESO will be responsible for the scientific programme for the ESO Astronomy Camp, and will provide lecturers and material together with several other partners.

Some highlights from this year’s programme include: lectures on planetary missions and the discovery of the first exoplanet; an activity on measuring the distance to an asteroid; and a trip to the Matterhorn.

The registration fee of €500 covers full board accommodation at the hostel in Saint Barthélemy, supervision by professional staff, all astronomical and leisure activities, materials, excursions, internal transport and insurance. Bus transport between the observatory and the airport of Milan Malpensa will be provided. The fee does not include travel costs between the student’s home and Milan Malpensa or Saint Barthélemy.

The camp will accommodate a maximum of 56 secondary school students aged between 16 and 18 (born in the years 1997–1999) from the ESO Member States and additional ESO Science Outreach Network countries. A limited number of places will be available to students from other countries, but they will not be eligible to receive ESO bursaries.

Students wishing to apply should fill out the form on the Camp web page and submit a video, in English and lasting no longer than three minutes, on the theme of “My favourite astronomical object/phenomenon”, before 4 October 2015. The selection of the bursary winners and the other successful candidates will take place on 16 October 2015. Final confirmation from the participants that they will attend will be due by 30 October 2015. The selection criteria and other instructions for participation are given on the Camp web page.

The applicant with the best entry from one of ESO’s Member States, or in one of the additional states included in the ESON network, will win a bursary offered by ESO that will cover the complete cost of the camp including transport. Several national partners are also expected to provide support to the best applications from a student residing in their respective countries.

The current national partners for the event are:

  • Institute of Astronomy of Leuven: Belgium
  • Stellar Astrophysics Centre at Aarhus University: Denmark
  • German Astronomical Society: Germany
  • Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica: Italy
  • NOVA, the Netherlands Research School for Astronomy: Netherlands
  • Polish Astronomical Society: Poland
  • Ciência Viva: Portugal
  • Petnica Science Center: Serbia
  • Spanish Astronomical Society: Spain
  • Swedish Astronomical Society: Sweden
  • University of Geneva: Switzerland
  • Eyuboglu High School: Turkey
  • Royal Astronomical Society: United Kingdom

Please consult the Camp web page as this list is being updated regularly.



Cristina Olivotto
Tel: +41 76 4001378

Oana Sandu
Community Coordinator
ESO education and Public Outreach Department
Tel: +49 89 320 069 65

About the Announcement



ESO Astronomy Camp 2015
ESO Astronomy Camp 2015