Astronomy at the ESO Supernova

Discover the applications of Kepler’s Laws in modern astronomy

01.07.2016 European Southern Observatory (ESO)
Karl-Schwarzschild-Straße 2, 85748 Garching bei München

Kepler’s laws are included in physics lesson plans in many countries. They are usually introduced by showing their applications to the Solar System, in particular focusing on the motion of the planets around the Sun. This teacher training will show how important and powerful Kepler’s laws are in modern astronomy. For example, Kepler’s third law allows astronomers to estimate the masses of supermassive black holes and of planets orbiting stars other than the Sun. In addition, deviations from Kepler’s laws seen in galaxy rotation curves led to the discovery of dark matter. During this one-day training, which will combine short introductory talks with workshops, participating teachers will be introduced to enquiry-based methods for studying these scientific concepts. We will also provide educational materials which can be used directly in the classroom.

Friday 1 July 2016, 09:30 - 19:00

ESO Supernova Planetarium and Visitor Centre
Haus der Astronomie

European Southern Observatory (ESO)
Telescopium Auditorium
Karl-Schwarzschild-Straße 2
85748 Garching

(See information below on how to reach us)

This workshop will be delivered in German.

Program of the teacher training

09:30 Welcome and coffee

09:45 News about the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre

10:00 Invited talk: “What are natural laws and why are they always valid?” — Prof. Harald Lesch (LMU)

11:30 Talk and workshop: “Kepler and the search for a second Earth” — Dr. Cecilia Scorza (HdA/ESO)

13:00 Lunch

14:00 Guided tour of ESO and the ESO Supernova construction site

15:00 Talk and workshop: “Kepler and the masses of black holes” — Dr. Andreas Müller (Universe Cluster, TUM)

16:30 Coffee break

17:00 Talk and workshop: “Kepler and the discovery of dark matter” — Dr. Wolfgang Vieser (Christoph-Probst Gymnasium, Gilching)

18:30 General discussion

19:00 End

19:30 Dinner in Garching



Harald Lesch talks about natural laws as part of a day-long Teacher Training on Kepler’s Laws and Modern Astronomy. Credit: ESO/M. Zamani


As part of the day-long Teacher Training on Kepler’s Laws and Modern Astronomy, participants engaged in introductory talks with workshops exploring enquiry-based methods for studying scientific concepts and were also provided with educational material for use in the classroom. Credit: ESO/M. Zamani