ESO Supernova Offers Unforgettable Learning Experiences

Extensive educational programme available at the new ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre

11 mei 2018

The cutting-edge ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre provides unforgettable learning experiences for students of all ages. Engaging workshops, tours and two new educational planetarium shows all capture the night sky’s incredible ability to inspire a love for science in young people. All educational activities are available free of charge.

Open to the public since 28 April 2018, the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre offers a wide range of captivating shows, workshops and events. The ESO Supernova educational programme has been designed to be adaptable to students aged 4–18, and includes a range of interactive workshops and tours, as well as access to our cutting-edge astronomy exhibition. Furthermore, two presenter-led planetarium shows — The Skies Above Us and A Tour of the Solar System — have recently joined the exciting educational program on offer at the ESO Supernova.

The Skies Above Us is an interactive planetarium show that has been specifically developed for kindergarten and early primary school groups aged 4–7. This live show helps young learners to understand the Earth’s day-night cycle, to develop a sense of time and space, and to appreciate Earth’s place in the Solar System. It captures the inspiring nature of the night sky, tells the stories of the constellations, and investigates the relationship between the Earth, the Moon and the Sun from the vantage point of space, offering young audiences a first insight into the Earth–Moon–Sun system.

A Tour of the Solar System is a magical show that combines an exploration of the night sky above us with an interactive journey through the Solar System. This show has been designed for primary school pupils aged 8–11 and gives the audience an idea of the location of their home relative to the rest of the Earth, and the position of the Earth relative to the rest of the Solar System. It first explains why the ESO telescopes are situated in the barren Chilean desert, before investigating the patterns, stories and legends of the constellations and taking viewers from the Earth to explore the rest of the Solar System. The audience discovers what makes each planet so unique, and how each one compares to the Earth.

As well as these captivating planetarium shows, we have created six different hands-on workshops tailored to students of varying ages. Each workshop is linked to the school curriculum and gives students a fun and interactive experience of life as an astronomer. Also on offer are engaging and personal tours led by ESO scientists and engineers, which are full of information about astronomy and the important role that ESO plays in this fascinating area of science. Interaction with active ESO scientists gives pupils the opportunity to ask questions and develop an understanding of scientific career paths.

Pupils can also explore our fascinating 2200 m2 exhibition, which investigates many fundamental astronomical concepts and covers a wide range of curriculum content. Learners can explore, touch, and use real astronomical artefacts, and conduct experiments to get an idea of what it means to be an astronomer discovering the mysteries of the Universe.

The ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre is committed to making astronomy accessible to all. Our educational materials will be available for free online, and there will be several teacher training sessionsper year at the ESO Supernova in collaboration with partners such as the Haus der Astronomie. These sessions cover a variety of topics and will connect teachers with active scientists and engineers.

You can browse the full range of educational content here, and subscribe to our education newsletter here. The first showings of A Tour of the Solar System and The Skies Above Us took place on Wednesday 2 May, and the shows are now screened regularly. Book your seats and get more information on these exciting shows here. Tickets should be reserved in advanced and can be printed inside the ESO Supernova.

More Information

The ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre

The ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre is a cutting-edge astronomy centre for the public and an educational facility, located at the site of the ESO Headquarters in Garching bei München. The centre hosts the largest tilted planetarium in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and an interactive exhibition, sharing the fascinating world of astronomy and ESO to inspire coming generations to appreciate and understand the Universe around us. All content is provided in English and German and entrance is free, but requires prior booking. For more details visit:

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.

ESO Supernova is proudly supported by: Evans & Sutherland and Energie-Wende-Garching.


The Klaus Tschira Stiftung (KTS) was created in 1995 by the physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940-2015). It is one of Europe’s largest privately funded non-profit foundations. The Foundation promotes the advancement of the natural sciences, mathematics, and computer science, and strives to raise appreciation for these fields. The Foundation’s commitment begins in kindergarten and continue in schools, universities, and research facilities. The Foundation champions new methods of scientific knowledge transfer, and supports both development and intelligible presentation of research findings.


The Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS gGmbH) was established in 2010 by the physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940-2015) and the Klaus Tschira Foundation as a private, non-profit research institute. HITS conducts basic research in the natural sciences, mathematics, and computer science, with a focus on the processing, structuring, and analyzing large amounts of data. The research fields range from molecular biology to astrophysics. The shareholders of HITS are the HITS Stiftung, which is a subsidiary of the Klaus Tschira Foundation, Heidelberg University and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). HITS also cooperates with other universities and research institutes and with industrial partners. The base funding of HITS is provided by the HITS Stiftung with funds received from the Klaus Tschira Foundation. The primary external funding agencies are the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the European Union.


ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It has 15 Member States: Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile and with Australia as a strategic partner. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope, the world’s most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and two survey telescopes. VISTA works in the infrared and is the world’s largest survey telescope and the VLT Survey Telescope is the largest telescope designed to exclusively survey the skies in visible light. ESO is a major partner in ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre European Extremely Large Telescope, the E-ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.



Tania Johnston
ESO Supernova Coordinator
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 320 061 30

Wolfgang Vieser
ESO Education Coordinator
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 3200 6183

Over de Mededeling



Le tour de Supernova
Le tour de Supernova
Young scientists at the ESO Supernova exhibition
Young scientists at the ESO Supernova exhibition
Teacher training event
Teacher training event
"The Skies Above Us" poster
"A Tour of the Solar System" poster