ESO at 60: Feet on the ground, eyes on the skies

For the past 60 years ESO has been enabling scientists worldwide to discover the secrets of the Universe for the benefit of all.  

Our core mission is to design, build and operate the most advanced observatories on the ground and to foster international collaboration for astronomy. But our responsibility goes beyond that. We are taking steps towards charting a more sustainable future, not just from an environmental point of view, but also economically and socially. 

Today ESO telescopes provide data to a community of more than 20 000 astronomers and other scientists, educators, students, journalists, and amateur astronomers, located in more than 130 countries and territories around the world. But what happens tomorrow? 

On our 60th anniversary we want to look forward to what is ahead of us and how we are building on our legacy to continue the success story of international collaboration in astronomy and enable the next scientific discoveries, shape technological advancements, benefit society, and build a better future. 

Our anniversary activities include:

  • A social media campaign addressing the topics above. Follow #ESO60Years in the weeks prior to 5 October to discover it 
  • A live virtual guided tour of our sites on 5 October 
  • An anniversary astronomical image to be released on 5 October 
  • Anniversary events in our Member States and partner and other countries, some featuring our anniversary exhibition  


Anniversary events 

The occasion of the ESO’s 60th anniversary represents an opportunity to reconnect with the astronomy and engineering communities, the government and policy makers, as well as the general public in our Member States and strategic partner Australia, while also highlighting the achievements of ESO and its broader societal benefits. Below you will find a list (continually updated) of various events that our Member States and partners are organizing with our support. 

Member States:
Non-Member States:


  • 5 October 2022: Astronomical Observatory, University of Vienna, general public event 

  • 8 October 2022: Ars Electronica Centre, Linz, general public event 


  • 8 December 2022: Planetarium of the Royal Observatory of Belgium, Brussels, science, engineering, and general public event 

Czech Republic 

  • TBC 


  • 15 September 2022: Copenhagen, science and policy event 


  • 17 September 2022: Space Park Väisälä, general public event 

  • 7-8 June 2023: Helsinki, science and policy event 


  • 3 November 2022: Observatoire de Paris, science, industry, and policy event 


  • 5 October 2022: Haus der Astronomie (HdA) and Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), Heidelberg, general public event 


  • 1 September 2022: Dunsink Observatory, Castleknock, County Dublin, science and policy event 


  • 10-12 June 2022: Astronomy Festival “The attractive Universe", Castellaro Lagusello, general public event 


  • 26 September 2022: Boerhave Museum, Leiden, science, industry, and policy event 


  • 24 November 2022: Warsaw, science and policy event 


  • 5 October 2022: Observatório Astronómico da Ajuda, general public event

  • 5 October 2022: Planetário do Porto, general public event

  • 5 October 2022: Observatório Geofísico e Astronómico da Universidade de Coimbra, general public event

  • 5 October 2022: Observatório Astronómico de Santana (Açores), general public event

  • 10 - 16 October 2022: FIC.A - Festival Internacional de Ciência, Hub-ACT, Oeiras, general public event


  • 5 September 2022: Campus de Guajara, University of La Laguna, Tenerife, science and policy event 

  • 5 October 2022: Planetarium of Pamplona, Pamplona, general public event 

  • 5 October 2022: Astronomical observatory of University of Valencia, general public event 

  • 5 October 2022: Madrid Planetarium, Madrid, general public event 

  • 5 October 2022: Agrupación Astronómica Sabadell, Sabadell (Barcelona), general public event 

  • 5 October 2022: Planetarium of Castellon, general public event 


  • 27 August 2022: Sagittarius Start Party, Södra Möckleby, Öland, general public event 

  • 24 September 2022: Astronomy Day and Night (ADON) science festival, Technical Museum, Stockholm, general public event 

  • 5 October 2022: online, general public event 

  • 8-9 October 2022: Open House Day during World Space Week, Lund Planetarium, general public event 


  • TBC 

United Kingdom 

  • 5 October 2022: Armagh Observatory and Planetarium, general public event 


  • TBC 


  • 5 October 2022: Konkoly Observatory, Svábhegyi Observatory and online, Budapest, general public event