ESO Eclipse Activities

Extra Tours at ESO Observatories

ESO Observatories open their doors to the public every Saturday. For information regarding regular public tours, please see here.

#MeetESO social media gathering

On the occasion of the eclipse, we are organising the second #MeetESO tweet-up. Eight lucky social media enthusiasts will have the chance to witness the La Silla total solar eclipse, #LaSillaTSE, and visit ESO’s sites in Chile — a treat not many people get to experience!

What is the programme?

Our trip will start from Santiago de Chile and the first stop will be ESO’s La Silla Observatory, the largest astronomical observatory of its time and the site that took Europe to the front line of astronomical research when it was inaugurated in 1969. At La Silla you will have the opportunity to join eclipse enthusiasts from around the world to witness the total solar eclipse, #LaSillaTSE (weather permitting).

From La Silla we will travel to Paranal, home of ESO’s Very Large Telescope — the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory — and of our survey telescopes that map the sky in the finest detail.

If time allows, we will also take you to the construction site of ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope, the world’s biggest eye on the sky. Here you will witness a little piece of astronomy history and learn more about the construction of what will be astronomy’s next generation of telescopes.

Finally, we will arrive at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the largest ground-based astronomical project in existence, led by ESO together with its international partners. Here we will visit the Operation Support Facility at an altitude of 2000 metres and also the antennas at 5000 metres. You will have to pass a medical exam to check blood pressure and oxygen level in order to go up to the high site.

During your visits you will meet the people working behind the scenes at ESO and ALMA, see where they work and find out how they live in the most arid desert in the world and high up on the Chajnantor Plateau, 5000 metres above sea level. You will also have the chance to meet other social media enthusiasts and make new friends! If the weather is kind to us, you will also witness one of the most impressive natural phenomena we can see from Earth — a total solar eclipse.

Not bad, is it?

General Terms

What are the important dates?

  • 26 October 2018: Launch of competition
  • 26 October – 15 November 2018: Period over which we scan our communities
  • 20 November 2018: Winners are contacted privately
  • 27 November 2018: Deadline to confirm participation
  • 4 December 2018: Public announcement of winners
  • End of June – beginning of July 2019: Trip to Chile (exact dates are TBD)

What are the costs?

Entering the competition is free of charge. If selected as one of the final eight participants, this is how costs will be distributed:

ESO will cover:

  • Local transportation between its sites (current plan is to travel via bus)
  • Accommodation and three meals per day
  • Activities in the schedule

You will cover:

  • International flight from your home country to Chile and back
  • Any other extra activities or trips you wish to undertake while in Chile
  • Any other extra products or food that you wish to buy

Who can attend?

To participate in #MeetESO you must:

  1. Be a keen and experienced user of Twitter and/or Facebook and/or Instagram and/or YouTube. Vloggers are also welcome
  2. Be at least 18 years old at the time of the trip
  3. Be a national of one of the ESON countries
  4. Have at least a conversational level of English
  5. Be interested in astronomy and space*
  6. Show interest in ESO and its activities
  7. Not suffer from conditions incompatible with travelling to desert areas, above 5000 m and travelling long distances in a bus

* We welcome also social media users from communities that are not necessarily astronomy-oriented, but who are willing to discover astronomy, space and ESO and share their discoveries with their friends.

How will the selection be made?

  1. We will scan our communities for candidates who meet the eligibility criteria above and who like to engage on social media and share interesting astronomy and space-related content with their friends and, most importantly, who take a leading role in engaging their communities with ESO’s scientific discoveries and front-line telescopes.

    We welcome also social media users from communities that are not necessarily astronomy-oriented, but who are willing to discover this area and share their discoveries with their friends.

  2. The top eight candidates who qualify based on the selection criteria above and who demonstrate creativity, dedication, relevance and passion in sharing content as described above will be contacted with a proposal to join #MeetESO.

    The size of your online community should preferably be large, but no social media user is in principle excluded.

    Make sure you follow @ESO , ESOAstronomy, esoastronomy and check your “Other” Facebook messages folder to see our message. Look for messages from both ESO and our Community Coordinator, Oana Sandu.

  3. Those candidates who accept the invitation and are able to fund their trip to Chile, providing a flight ticket booking by the deadline to confirm participation, will make it onto the final list of participants.
  4. In December we will announce the eight selected winners.

Why just #Lucky8?

Unlike other tweetups, only eight people can take part in the #MeetESO social media gathering, for several reasons:

  • ESO observatories work no-stop and any activity other than regular operations must not interfere with observing runs
  • Few places are available at the La Silla Total Solar Eclipse event
  • We will be travelling to one of the most arid places on Earth, in the Atacama Desert, where we have limited resources for accommodation.

How do you enter the competition?

To enter the competition for the ESO social media gathering you need to do two things:

  1. Fill out this form. We reserve the right to invite participants who have or have not filled out this form.
  2. Express yourself always using the hashtag #MeetESO

How can you increase your chances of being selected?

We will scan our social media communities (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram) for people who meet the criteria above.

You are welcome to demonstrate your interest in astronomy, space and ESO in whatever manner you consider most creative, relevant and convincing. Please see below some suggestions for making it onto our radar:

On Facebook

Tag our ESOAstronomy Facebook page in your message, use the hashtag #MeetESO and make sure that your post’s visibility is not restricted so that we can see it.

On Twitter

You can also tweet us @ESO telling us why we should select you. If you want, you can ask your friends to tweet us @ESO to express their support for you. Always make sure you mention @ESO and #MeetESO in your messages so we can track them down. Always follow Twitter rules when using the platform.

On Instagram

You can mention us on Instagram. Make sure you use #MeetESO in order for us to find your posts easily.

On Youtube

We welcome popular, creative or simply very engaging YouTubers and vloggers out there. Feel free to create videos that demonstrate your interest in astronomy, space and ESO. When you upload them, set their visibility to public so that we can access them and notify us via social media channels above or email.

Make sure you also check and respect the YouTube Community Guidelines. Videos which do not respect the YouTube Community Guidelines will be disregarded.

Other terms

Please note that most ESO images and videos are released under the Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution License and therefore you are allowed to use them; you only have to include the credit (we always display the credit in the caption of our Images and Videos). We discourage the usage of images, videos and music that are not cleared for public distribution.

ESO reserves the right to use the submitted entries and other outcomes from the competition for public communication.

We discourage the creation of multiple accounts and reserve the right to ignore accounts which have been created just a few days before they are used for the competition. We do not recommend posting the same message multiple times. Think of quality and getting support from your friends, rather than quantity.

This competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

Personal data collected during this competition will be used solely for the purposes of this competition. By filling out our form and/or taking action to participate in the competition, you agree to the way your personal data will be used.

The decision of ESO is final. ESO reserves the right to change the competition rules at any time.

As an international organisation ESO is governed by virtue of its international status. For matters of substance not specifically covered general principles of international law apply.

Best of luck to all participants!

Public Competition

Win a La Silla Total Solar Eclipse Ticket

If you are a national of an ESO Member States, we invite you to enter a competition to win an all-expenses paid trip to ESO’s observatory sites in Chile and to witness the Total Solar Eclipse!

ESO will pay for all expenses, including international flight, local transportation, accommodation and meals.

Programme of the visit

Our trip will start from Santiago de Chile and the first stop will be ESO’s La Silla Observatory, the largest astronomical observatory of its time and the site that took Europe to the front line of astronomical research when it was inaugurated in 1969. At La Silla you will have the opportunity to join eclipse enthusiasts from around the world to witness the total solar eclipse, #LaSillaTSE (weather permitting).

From La Silla we will travel to Paranal, home of ESO’s Very Large Telescope — the world's most advanced visible-light astronomical observatory and to our survey telescopes that are mapping the sky in the finest detail.

If time allows, we will take also you to the construction site of ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope, the biggest eye on the sky. Here you will witness a piece of astronomy history by viewing and learning more about the construction of what will be astronomers’ next generation of telescopes.

Finally, we will arrive at the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), the largest ground-based astronomical project in existence, led by ESO together with its international partners. Here we will visit the Operation Support Facility at 2000 metres altitude, but also the antennas at 5000 metres altitude. You will have to pass a medical exam for blood pressure and oxygen level to go up to the high site.

It is possible to schedule the return flight home for a later date, to give the winner a chance to self-organise further visits in Chile. It is not possible to bring accompanying persons on the trip because of the very limited capacity of our bus and the sites, and the strict schedule.

Who can participate in the competition?

To be eligible to participate in the competition you must:

  • Be a national of at least one of the ESO Member States
  • Be at least 18 years old at the time of the trip
  • Have at least a conversational level of English
  • Not suffer from conditions incompatible with traveling to desert areas, above 5000 metres and travelling long distances in a bus

How can you enter the competition?

1) Prepare a video. In 2019, ESO’s La Silla Observatory celebrates its 50th anniversary and the competition theme will reflect this anniversary. We invite you to prepare a video with a “Happy 50th anniversary, La Silla Observatory” message to the world together with a few words about the observatory.

2) Upload your video.

  • Upload it on Instagram, tag us @esoastronomy and use the hashtag #LaSilla50Years
  • Upload it on Twitter, mention us @ESO and use the hashtag #LaSilla50Years
  • Upload it on YouTube and share it with us on Twitter or Instagram, tagging us and using the hashtag #LaSilla50Years

3) Sign up to the competition by filling out the following form and include a link to your video.

How will the selection be made?

Entries will be validated against the eligibility criteria. The winning entry will be judged based on creativity, passion, popularity and/or authenticity.

Which are the important dates?

  • 19 November 2018: Launch of competition
  • 19 November – 9 December 2018: Period to submit your video messages
  • 12 December 2018: Winner is contacted privately
  • 19 December 2018: Deadline to confirm participation
  • 20 December 2018: Public announcement of winners
  • End of June – beginning of July: 2019 Trip dates

Other terms

Entering the competition is free of charge.

Please note that most ESO images and videos are released under the Creative Commons 4.0 Attribution License and therefore you are allowed to use them; you only have to include the credit (we always display the credit in the caption of our Images and Videos). We discourage the usage of images, videos and music that participants do not own the rights to.

ESO reserves the right to use the submitted entries and other outcomes from the competition for public communication.

We discourage the creation of multiple accounts and reserve the right to ignore accounts which have been created just a few days before they are used for the competition. We do not recommend posting the same message multiple times. Think of quality and getting support from your friends, rather than quantity.

Make sure you also check and respect the YouTube Community Guidelines. Videos which do not respect the YouTube Community Guidelines will be disregarded. Always follow Twitter rules and the Instagram community guidelines when using those platforms.

This competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.

Personal data collected during this competition will be used solely for the purpose of this competition. By taking action to participate in the competition, you agree to the way your personal data will be used.

The decision of ESO is final. ESO reserves the right to change the rules at any time.

As an international organisation ESO is governed by virtue of its international status. For matters of substance not specifically covered general principles of international law apply.

School Competition

ESO will offer Chilean students the unique opportunity to witness the total solar eclipse from the La Silla Observatory! More information about the competition for students to attend the event will be available in November 2018.

Media

A space at La Silla Observatory will be reserved forto a limited number of media representatives. If you are a journalist and you wish to be at La Silla on 2 July 2019, watch for the media advisory in August 2018.

Activities on the day

Extra Tours at ESO Observatories

ESO Observatories open their doors to the public every Saturday. For information regarding regular public tours, please see here.

As an extraordinary number of visitors is expected in the region because of the eclipse, ESO will offer extra public tours to the La Silla and Paranal Observatories daily from 23 June 23 to 5 July 5 2019 inclusive., both included, at the La Silla and Paranal Observatory. These tours can be booked here, at €15 per ticket.

Live broadcast

In addition to the public event at La Silla, ESO plans to hold a live stream online and in locations throughout Europe, including the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre in Garching bei München, Germany. More information will be announced in 2018.

La Silla 50 Years

ESO sees the 2019 total solar eclipse as an appropriate eventthe greatest gift to commemorate 50 years since the official inauguration of the La Silla Observatory on 25 March 1969.

Dedicated activities to celebrate this event will be soon included in the total solar eclipse event programme.

If you are interested in more details of the great history of ESO, please see our timeline.

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Key visual for the La Silla solar eclipse event Credit: ESO

ESO Supernova