ESO Open House Day 2018

13 September 2018

On Saturday 13 October 2018 between 11:00 and 18:00 CEST, the European Southern Observatory (ESO) will open its doors to the public at its headquarters in Garching bei München, Germany. This event forms part of the Open House Day activities taking place across the whole Garching research campus, when several other research institutes also open their doors to the public. The ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre will also be open on the day with its usual programme, which can be found here.

ESO can be found at location number 39 on this map of the campus. Information on how to travel to ESO’s Headquarters in Garching can be found here.

Some of the highlights of the 2018 programme are:

  • See the ESO Headquarters buildings — join guided tours through the innovatively styled office building and the technical building. Learn how ESO creates artificial stars, see what mirror prototypes for the Extremely Large Telescope look like, and much more;
  • Virtual and 3D tours — embark on journeys into and around some of ESO’s most breathtaking sites and groundbreaking instruments;
  • Live connection to Paranal and ALMA — experience a live connection to our telescopes in the Atacama Desert in Chile. Connect to ESO's Very Large Telescope at Paranal and to ALMA, the largest astronomical project in operation, consisting of 66 antennas located 5000 metres above sea level on the Chajnantor Plateau in Chile;
  • Planetarium Shows — experience one of our planetarium shows in the ESO Supernova. (pre-booking required, please see our calendar);
  • ESO Chile Chill — take a moment to relax and watch incredible images from our sites in Chile while listening to a chillout soundtrack;
  • Talks, podcasts and documentaries — listen, watch, and discover more about ESO;
  • Face painting, comet factory, infrared photos, storytelling and gifts for the little ones — children will have lots of fun having their faces painted with many different motifs; they can learn how to build a comet and have their infrared photo taken, search for stamps to fill out their album and receive rewards for their efforts;
  • Solar observations — safely observe the Sun through a special telescope (weather permitting);
  • And much more...

Pre-booking is required for the planetarium shows. For all other activities, there is no need to book in advance. Simply show up for the activities you are interested in. ESO also has a cafeteria where light refreshments will be available.

Media representatives who wish to attend the event are kindly asked to confirm their participation by contacting

More Information

The ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre

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.



Herbert Zodet
Open House Day Coordinator
Garching bei München, Germany
Phone: +49 89 3200 6422

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

Oana Sandu
Community Coordinator & Communication Strategy Officer
Tel: +49 89 320 069 65

About the Announcement



Open House Day 2018 publicity image (English)
Open House Day 2018 publicity image (English)
Open House Day 2018 publicity image (German)
Open House Day 2018 publicity image (German)