ESO Eclipse Activities

Planned Schedule

The general schedule of the day is as follows:

Local Time 
09:00 – 10:00Visitors arrive at La Silla Observatory Main Gate (Camp Pelícano).
09:00 –All visitors are transported to La Silla Observatory by ESO minibuses
10:00 – 14:00 Tours of the NTT and ESO 3.6-metre telescope and additional activities, such as talks, workshops, concerts.
15:23Partial eclipse begins.
16:39Start of totality.
16:40Maximum totality.
16:41End of totality.
18:00 – 20:00Visitors leave La Silla Observatory in small ESO busses for Camp Pelícano.

Extra Tours at ESO Observatories

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



Follow the #Lucky9 during their #MeetESO social media gathering

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

Join us for the adventure, experience the total eclipse and discover the ESO sites through their eyes by following ESO, the hashtags: #meetESO #LaSillaTSE and the accounts of each participant (see below).

Who are the #Lucky9?

  1. Eric Benedetti, United States of America. Eric can be found on Instagram and Facebook .
  2. Paul Davies, United Kingdom. Paul can be found onTwitter,Facebook and Instagram.
  3. Guillaume Doyen, France. Guillaume can be found onYouTube,Twitter,Facebook, Instagram and on his blog.
  4. Tara Foster, Ireland/Australia. Tara can be found onTwitter,Facebook, Instagram and on her blog.
  5. Olivia Haider, Austria. Olivia can be found onTwitter,Facebook and Instagram.
  6. Felipe Hime Miranda, Brazil. Felipe can be found onYouTube,Instagram and Twitter.
  7. Ariel Waldman, United States of America. Ariel can be found onYouTube,Twitter,Facebook and Instagram.
  8. Carol Wright, United Kingdom. Carol can be found onTwitter,Facebook and Instagram.
  9. Norédine Benazdia, France. Norédine can be found on YouTube and Twitter.

What is the #MeetESO 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 one of the most arid deserts 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?


A space at La Silla Observatory will be reserved for a limited number of media representatives. If you are a journalist and you wish to be at La Silla on 2 July 2019, submit your application here.


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

ESO Supernova