What’s coming up at the ESO Supernova

Check out what the first half of 2020 has in store for our visitors

12 November 2019

Reservations are now open for the ESO Supernova planetarium shows happening during the first half of 2020.

If you are looking to plan your visit to the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre during the first half of 2020, reservations are now open online for all our standard planetarium shows, happening from February to June. New planetarium shows will be screened at our centre in 2020, but those will be announced separately as they enter our programme. Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to find out about special events and new shows. The ticket for a planetarium show costs €5/person, and the ticket for a guided tour costs €8/person. For public evening events, please consult our programme, as prices vary. 

In January, our centre will be closed for maintenance and to take some time to prepare for the year ahead. We will be closed from 23 December 2019 until 31 January 2020 (inclusive), and we will open to the public again on Saturday 1 February 2020.  

Once we reopen, we invite you to check out the new exhibits in our permanent exhibition, The Living Universe. Among them are cameras showing you what you look like in different wavelengths and our relativity bike has been updated so you can now race your friends to see who can reach the speed of light fastest! Admission to explore the exhibition on your own is free of charge and requires no prior booking.

In 2020 the world celebrates the 60th anniversary of the laser. With a long history in the making, the first functional laser was operated on 16 May 1960 by Theodore H. Maiman. Visitors to our centre will have one last chance to visit the temporary exhibition Laser, Light, Life — From science fiction to high-tech photonics. Designed by the Faculty of Physics of the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU), it provides insights into laser technology from its very beginnings to the present day, and highlights visionary possibilities for its application. The exhibition will stay on display until 31 May 2020. Visiting the temporary exhibition is free of charge.

Organised school groups continue to enjoy our education programme free of charge. Teachers should read the following page for additional information on how to organise school visits. 

More Information

The ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre

The ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre is a cutting-edge astronomy centre for the public and an educational facility, located at the site of the ESO Headquarters in Garching bei München. The centre hosts the largest tilted planetarium in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and an interactive exhibition, sharing the fascinating world of astronomy and ESO to inspire coming generations to appreciate and understand the Universe around us. All content is provided in English and German. Entrance to the exhibition is free, and requires no prior booking. For planetarium shows, guided tours and other activities, visitors need to book and pay for their tickets online. For more details visit:

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.

ESO Supernova is proudly supported by: LOR Foundation, Evans & Sutherland, Sky-Skan and Energie-Wende-Garching.


The Klaus Tschira Stiftung (KTS) was created in 1995 by the physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940-2015). It is one of Europe’s largest privately funded non-profit foundations. The Foundation promotes the advancement of the natural sciences, mathematics, and computer science, and strives to raise appreciation for these fields. The Foundation’s commitment begins in kindergarten and continues in schools, universities, and research facilities. The Foundation champions new methods of scientific knowledge transfer, and supports both development and intelligible presentation of research findings.


The Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies (HITS gGmbH) was established in 2010 by the physicist and SAP co-founder Klaus Tschira (1940-2015) and the Klaus Tschira Foundation as a private, non-profit research institute. HITS conducts basic research in the natural sciences, mathematics and computer science, with a focus on processing, structuring, and analysing large amounts of data. The research fields range from molecular biology to astrophysics. The shareholders of HITS are the HITS Stiftung, which is a subsidiary of the Klaus Tschira Foundation, Heidelberg University and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). HITS also cooperates with other universities and research institutes and with industrial partners. The base funding of HITS is provided by the HITS Stiftung with funds received from the Klaus Tschira Foundation. The primary external funding agencies are the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Research Foundation (DFG), and the European Union.


ESO is the foremost intergovernmental astronomy organisation in Europe and the world’s most productive ground-based astronomical observatory by far. It has 16 Member States: Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, along with the host state of Chile and with Australia as a Strategic Partner. ESO carries out an ambitious programme focused on the design, construction and operation of powerful ground-based observing facilities enabling astronomers to make important scientific discoveries. ESO also plays a leading role in promoting and organising cooperation in astronomical research. ESO operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor. At Paranal, ESO operates the Very Large Telescope and its world-leading Very Large Telescope Interferometer as well as two survey telescopes, VISTA working in the infrared and the visible-light VLT Survey Telescope. Also at Paranal ESO will host and operate the Cherenkov Telescope Array South, the world’s largest and most sensitive gamma-ray observatory. ESO is also a major partner in two facilities on Chajnantor, APEX and ALMA, the largest astronomical project in existence. And on Cerro Armazones, close to Paranal, ESO is building the 39-metre Extremely Large Telescope, the ELT, which will become “the world’s biggest eye on the sky”.



Tania Johnston
ESO Supernova Coordinator
Garching bei München, Germany

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

About the Announcement



Path to the Supernova
Path to the Supernova