The Education Programme in 2022

Due to the fact that the number of COVID-19 infections is still high, we are currently not offering workshops for pre-school or school groups. However, you are very much welcome to visit a planetarium show and our huge exhibition - a guided tour may be possible as well.

Although we're no longer checking your vaccination, recovery or Covid-test status, we ask you not to visit ESO Supernova in case you're tested positiv for COVID-19, feel unwell or have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.

It's mandatory to wear an FFP2 mask (visitors aged 16 years and older) while experiencing a planetarium show. Children aged 6-15 years are required to wear either a medical or FFP2-mask in the planetarium; below age 6 years a mouth-nose-cover is recommended.

We still strongly recommend also wearing a mask while exploring the exhibition.

Before your visit we ask that you read about our general hygiene and safety measures as well as the special measures we have implemented for the exhibition and the planetarium

Please find more information below on how to book a planetarium show and a guided tour for your pre-school group and school class.

Since we have not yet completed the planning and adjustments of the ESO Supernova programme for the second half of 2022 (daily number of planetarium shows and their start times, opening hours, etc.), it is not yet possible to book or reserve a date later than July 2022. We will inform on our website and via our newsletter when the planning is finalised.

ESO Supernova's educational programme.

Astronomy education is about one of the oldest natural and cultural sciences. It is using the most modern and overwhelming technologies trying to unravel some of the oldest questions like "How did this all began - will it ever end?" or "Are we alone?". In terms of science education in general astronomy can act as a gateway science opening the door for all STEM fields. ESO Supernova's educational programme, teacher trainings and resources are set up to foster the fascination and joy of science, to encourage discovery and self-directed learning in teams and to share ESO Supernova's passion for our universe with everyone.

Trainings for Teachers & Educators

Italian Teacher Training
Group of the Italian Teacher Training participating in a hands-on activity. Credit: ESO

Science and society is a rapidly evolving field and such is science education. ESO Supernova supports teachers and educators in keeping them up to date with recent developments and discoveries in astronomy and engineering by providing hands-on teacher trainings on those topics. Educators K-12 will not only learn the latest from current research, but also discover how this can be transferred into the classroom in a contemporary and sustainable way. You'll find more about what ESO Supernova offers especially for educators and about past and future teacher trainings here .

Programme for School- and Kindergarten Groups

Polish students at ESO Supernova
Polish students having a guided tour at ESO Supernova in their mother tongue led by a polish ESO colleauge. Credit: ESO/M. Zamani

Astronomy is a very interdisciplinary scientific discipline that incorporates all natural sciences taught in schools, as well as mathematics, computer science and even more. We make use of the students' interest for astronomy as a driving force for them to acquire science literacy. We have placed curricula learning contents in an astronomical context, designed hands-on workshops, planetarium shows and exhibition tours and so created unique learning opportunities to experience science like being a scientist for free.

Our educational goal is to ignite curiosity for science and to encourage young ones to think outside the box by combining school knowledge with modern applications in astronomy and engineering. The educational programme is using inquiry based learning strategies with hands-on workshops that can easily be replicated at school or at home. We promote the principle of equality of opportunity for all, especially in terms of education and learning opportunities – for that reason the educational programme is free of charge for school classes and Kindergarten groups. Unfortunately, we cannot offer workshops to day-care groups, after-school childcare or holiday programmes.

So far more than 19000 curious minds (K-12) have taken part in our educational programme together with more than 2400 educators who took the initiative to go on excursion with their students to an extracurricular learning site. Such special events promote motivation, curiosity and interest for MINT subjects and regarding the understanding of science can help to make the penny drop.

What is the education programme?

Depending on how much time you have at ESO Supernova and how large your group is, we can tailor your educational programme to suit the group’s interests.

The full educational programme consists of

  • an age-appropriate guided tour of the exhibition that ranges 2200 square metres and covers all facets of astronomy and earthbound telescope technology (30 min for Kindergarten, 60 min for schools) or a tour of ESO Headquarters for participants older than 10 years (60 min) (more about tours)
  • a planetarium show including an explanation of the sky tonight (45 min for Kindergarten, 60 min for schools)
  • an age-appropriate workshop (not possible in the first half of 2022)

but also booking of parts of it (e.g. only a planetarium show) is possible.

Educational Programme
The three pillars of the educational programme: Guided tours, planetarium shows, workshops. Credit: ESO/M. Zamani/P. Horálek


  • Unfortunately, we cannot offer workshops to individuals, birthday parties, day-care groups, after-school childcare or holiday programmes.
  • The educational programme is offered only from Wednesday to Friday, but not on public holidays.
  • Workshops and tours are limited to a maximum number of 30 students. If you want to book for larger school groups (up to 60), we will try to form two groups and perform a workshop with each group one after the other. No guided tour will then be possible but the group not conducting the workshop can explore the exhibition on their own.


All parts of the educational programme as well as the entrance to the ESO Supernova are free of charge. Donations are very welcome.


  • The full educational programme is only possible on the dates in the calendar below marked in green (provided that enough seats are available in the planetarium).
  • Visiting planetarium shows as part of the educational programme and guided tours may be possible also on the red marked dates but depends whether enough seats are available in the planetarium and whether no other guided tour is happening at that day. Please check on the ESO online calendar.
  • Dates, which are further in the future than the calendar below indicates, cannot yet be booked or pre-reserved. Once these dates are released, this will be published in the education newsletter.


The schedule of your visit depends a lot on the slot of the planetarium show you want to experience since the times of the shows are fixed. You’ll find the planetarium shows that are going to be presented on this day on the ESO online calendar. Make sure that the chosen show has enough free seats left. In most cases we can squeeze in a show from Wednesday to Friday (outside holiday periods) at 10:30 or 15:30 if no other show is being shown at the planetarium at this hour. A possible guided tour can be arranged around the show. Please be aware that there need to be breaks (at least 15 min) between the activities.

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  • Planetarium show:

    Check ESO Supernova's online calendar if on your preferred date there is a planetarium show scheduled with enough free seats. If there is no show scheduled on your preferred date, then in most cases we can schedule a show at 10:30am or 3:30pm. Use the booking form below to make a reservation for your group for this Planertarium show.
  • Guided tour:

    If you'd like to follow a guided tour, please check ESO Supernova's online calendar if on your preferred date there is not yet a guided tour scheduled. In that case, we mostely can schedule a one hour tour for your group (number of participants should not exceed 30). Use the booking form below to request a guided tour for your group.


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