ESO and Partners Launch Innovative Data2Dome Planetarium System

27 April 2017

ESO is proud to publicly launch a running version of the cutting-edge Data2Dome project in partnership with Evans & Sutherland and the International Planetarium Society . This exciting new free system for planetariums delivers the complete collection of images and videos from ESO's frontline telescopes at La Silla and Paranal, as well as from ALMA, ESA/Hubble — and through NASA’s and IPAC’s Astropix project: NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, Chandra X-Ray Observatory, GALEX, WISE, and NuStar, as well as example images from ESA’s Planck and Herschel space telescopes. Data2Dome also delivers stunning fulldome images and videos, 3D models and music, as well as the latest press releases and blogs from all astronomy and space organisations worldwide, all at the click of a mouse — and for free! Data2Dome’s AstroCalendar module provides daily feeds of significant astronomical events such as spacecraft launches, planetary alignments, historical anniversaries and more.

Astronomy is a dynamic discipline, with spectacular discoveries, images, videos and other data published every single day. Planetariums around the world have always wanted to share these new developments, but it often takes days or weeks to transform the latest news into planetarium content. The vision of the Data2Dome system is to seamlessly integrate astronomy data into planetarium systems in almost real time, allowing planetariums to immerse their visitors in the latest discoveries the day they are announced. The database is carefully curated to include high-quality material and to save presenters’ time.

Every morning, planetarium presenters can access interesting news and fresh datasets, and download them — for free — to use in shows throughout the day. Presenters can report on events as they take place, or incorporate a segment of “Last week in astronomy” into their programme. This streamlined flow of information will transform planetariums into dynamic venues that are always up to speed, bringing the science of astronomy to life under the dome.

Data2Dome is now available to many planetariums worldwide using Evans & Sutherland’s Digistar 6 system, and we are working with other planetarium vendors to incorporate it into their systems as well. If you are a presenter using the Digistar 6 system in your planetarium, open the Data2Dome tab to make use of these free resources right now. If you are a planetarium visitor, ask your local planetarium if they have Data2Dome content, so you can gain access to live science.

The project is spearheaded by ESO in preparation for the launch of the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre, the first open-source planetarium in the world, at ESO’s Headquarters in Garching, Germany.

More Information

The ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre

The ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre is a cooperation between the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS). The building is a donation from the Klaus Tschira Stiftung (KTS), a German foundation, and ESO runs the facility.



Lars Lindberg Christensen
Head of ESO ePOD
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6761
Cell: +49 173 3872 621

Michael Daut
Evans & Sutherland Digital Theater
Tel: +1-801-588-1627

Mark Subbarao
IPS Science and Data Visualization Task Force

About the Announcement



Data2Dome logo
Data2Dome logo


ESOcast 104: Data2Dome: From the Universe to You
ESOcast 104: Data2Dome: From the Universe to You