ESO — Reaching New Heights in Astronomy
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ESO Outreach Community Newsletter
March 2018

Dear Fellow Communicators,

Welcome to the northern hemisphere spring! In March, some of us here at ePOD had the pleasure of attending the Communicating Astronomy with the Public 2018 Conference, organised by the International Astronomical Union and hosted this year by the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan and Fukuoka City. Other members of the ePOD team were back at Headquarters working intensely to prepare for the opening of the ESO Supernova (which explains why this month’s ESO Outreach Newsletter is coming in so late).

CAP 2018 was an amazingly rich conference, where we had the opportunity to learn from peers about the latest trends in social media, making astronomy more inclusive by addressing specific groups, battling anomalies in the media landscape, using storytelling and metaphors to inspire people with astronomy, and using concepts like branding, polling and diplomacy for astronomy communication. We invite you to follow the updates posted using the hashtag #CAP2018.

This month, we are also putting together the last pieces of the puzzle for the ESO Supernova. We have planned an opening campaign that will reveal the centre to media representatives, digital enthusiasts, high-level officials and decision makers, partners, the local community, and ultimately the general public. We will also take the time to celebrate the opening of the centre with our core staff and team of volunteers, as well as give ESO staff members and their families the chance to enjoy the ESO Supernova.

Our booking system with 40 different activities is now online. If you plan to come by Munich, book your free seats for our planetarium shows, guided tours or special activities in advance. There are still tickets left for most showings in Q2.

Let's reach new heights in astronomy together!

Lars Lindberg Christensen (

Head, ESO education and Public Outreach Department (ePOD)

  ESO Announcements

Science in School: Issue 43 Now Available

3 April 2018: The latest issue of the free magazine Science in School is now available online and in print. This European journal for science teachers offers up-to-date information on cutting-edge science, teaching ...

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The Messenger No. 171 Now Available

29 March 2018: The latest edition of ESO's quarterly journal, The Messenger, is now available online. Find out the latest news from ESO on topics ranging from new instruments to the latest ...

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Media Advisory: Press Conference to Mark Inauguration of ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre

29 March 2018: ESO will host a press conference on 26 April 2018 at 13:00 CEST, at its Headquarters in Garching, Germany, to present the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre on ...

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Apply for the Summer AstroCamp 2018 — Astronomy programme in northern Portugal for school students

26 March 2018: Applications for the ESO-supported Summer AstroCamp 2018 will open on 1 April. AstroCamp is an academic programme in the field of astronomy and physics that aims to stimulate curiosity and ...

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Your Events in the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre — Events brochure now online

23 March 2018: The ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre offers unique venue alternatives for event organisers in Munich. Our events brochure provides information about the spaces for hire and the available services ...

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ESO Supernova Programme Now Available Online

21 March 2018: Over the past months, the ESO Supernova team has been keenly working on the preparation of the programme for the exciting new planetarium and visitor centre, due to open to ...

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Catch a Star 2018 Contest Now Open

21 March 2018: School students from around the world are invited to take part in the 2018 Catch a Star contest. This is a European astronomical writing contest, with prizes that will leave ...

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Probing Polaris — ESO Fellow Richard I. Anderson sheds light on the famous North Star

Interview with: Richard I. Anderson

30 March 2018: While most people have heard of the North Star and may even be able to find it in the night sky at the north celestial pole, it remains the fascinatingly ...

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Shooting for the Stars — ESO’s role in the revolutionary Breakthrough Initiatives

Interview with: Markus Kasper

23 March 2018: Our fragile blue planet circles a star that is just one of hundreds of billions in our galaxy — which itself is just one stellar neighbourhood in a vast Universe ...

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Breathless Science — How ALMA staff adapt to working at high altitude

Interview with: Iván López

16 March 2018: At a soaring altitude of 5100 metres above sea level, the ALMA Observatory is one of the world’s most extreme work environments. Athletes and hikers who climb this high usually ...

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Scanning a galaxy halo — Using MUSE and gravitational lensing to solve the mysteries of galaxy halos

Interview with: Sebastian Lopez

9 March 2018: Every galaxy is surrounded by a mysterious halo that scientists currently know little about. A team of astronomers has recently used a new technique to map the structure of a ...

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Seeing Stars in the Alps — Anna Wolter talks about the ESO Winter Astronomy Camp

Interview with: Anna Wolter

2 March 2018: During the last week of 2017, high school students from across the world gathered in the Italian Alps to learn about the Universe. As participants of the ESO Winter Astronomy ...

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ESO’s Training Programmes: Investing in the Future of Astronomy

Interview with: Xavier Barcons

23 February 2018: With most of 2018 ahead of us, many people choose to condense their hopes, aims and regrets into firm statements of resolution. In this year’s first instalment of Letters from ...

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ESOcast 154 Light: ALMA Reveals Inner Web of Stellar Nursery (4K UHD)

7 March 2018: New data from the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) and other telescopes have been used to create a stunning image showing a web of filaments in the Orion Nebula. These ...

ESOcast 153 Light: First Light For MATISSE (4K UHD)

5 March 2018: The new MATISSE instrument on ESO’s Very Large Telescope Interferometer (VLTI) has now successfully made its first observations at the Paranal Observatory in northern Chile. MATISSE is the most powerful ...

The movie ALMA — In Search of our Cosmic Origins (German)

28 February 2018: The English version is available on This 16-minute video presents the history of ALMA from the origins of the project several decades ago ...

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 ESO Press Releases

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Upcoming Events


13 - 15 April 2018: Puerto de Ideas - Antofagasta 2018

26 April 2018: Girls' Day at ESO Headquarters

28 April 2018: ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre opening

24 - 29 June 2019: Starmus V

2 July 2019: Total Solar Eclipse

Upcoming Exhibitions

3 - 6 April 2018: EWASS. Liverpool, United Kingdom.

20 - 31 August 2018: IAU General Assembly. Vienna, Austria.

24 - 29 June 2019: Starmus V event. Bern, Switzerland.

La Silla’s Great Dane  Loops over La Silla  Silent night over Paranal  ESO Supernova at sunset  Young planet creates a scene 

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