For Planetariums and Science Centres

Free Material

ESO Supernova is the world's first open source planetarium and likes to share. The materials that ESO develops for ESO Supernova is available to other planetariums, who can freely download it and use it under a Creative Commons free license:

  1. 3D models
  2. ESO Fulldome stills
  3. Fulldome clips and shows from ESO and the community. The technical specifications are described here.
  4. ESO 360 degree panoramas incl. 360 x 180 degree panoramas
  5. Fulldome clips at ESA/Hubble
  6. Music archive
  7. the IAU constellation charts
  8. Full planetarium shows.

    1. ESO is extremely proud to present From Earth to the Universe v2, an improved and updated version of the full-length show directed by Theofanis Matsopoulos. It takes the viewer on a journey of celestial discovery, from the early theories of the ancient Greek astronomers to a look at today’s most impressive telescopes. Version 2 features: improved image quality; higher resolution star maps; new video footage of ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) courtesy of the fulldome expedition; a new 3D model of the Milky Way and much more!

    2. A new full-length show also directed by Theofanis Matsopoulos has just been released: The Hot and Energetic Universe, which delves into the natural phenomena related to high energy astrophysics, a key field of research in astronomy.

    3. Europe to the Stars: takes the viewer on an epic journey behind the scenes at the most productive ground-based observatory in the world, revealing the science, the history, the technology and the people. 

    4. The Sun, Our Living Star. Discover the secrets of our star in this planetarium show and experience never-before-seen images of the Sun’s violent surface in immersive fulldome format.

    The planetarium and artistic communities at large have contributed several other full-length planetarium shows:

    1. Two Small Pieces of Glass; where two students learn the history of the telescope — from Galileo’s modifications to a child’s spyglass to the launch of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The show was made by Interstellar Studios, the Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai'i and Carnegie Science Center for the International Year of Astronomy 2009.

    2. Dark: The Movie; which explains and explores the nature of Dark Matter, the invisible 80% of the mass of the Universe. Dark was funded jointly by iVEC, Scitech and iVEC@UWA, and was directed by Peter Morse.

    3. Sunstruck; which explores how the Sun came to support life on Earth, how it threatens life as we know it, and how its energy will one day fade away. This NASA funded fulldome planetarium show was created at the Michigan Science Center.

    4. The Dark Matter Mystery; which addresses the question of what holds the universe together. What, in fact, are the constituents of the so called Dark Matter?
      This show was made by Laupheim Planetarium.

    5. Distant Worlds - Alien Life? (Originally “Ferne Welten - fremdes Leben?”); a film exploring one of the most enduring questions in astronomy — are we alone? This fulldome film was produced by a consortium of German planetariums. The show was directed by Björn Voß from Münster Planetarium.

    6. Sentient; an artistic work by students of the Art and Science Immersive Media class in the Studio for Interrelated Media (SIM) department at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. This is an immersive experience which investigates the creative, perceptive, and unexplored mind. Credit goes to students from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

    7. The Unknown Between; an artistic work by students of the Art and Science Immersive Media class in the Studio for Interrelated Media (SIM) department at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. This is an immersive experience which explores the moment between wakefulness and sleep. Credit goes to students from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

    8. Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2015, 2016, and 2017: Each year the Royal Observatory Greenwich creates a short planetarium presentation to show off some of the winners from the Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. In 2015 entries from 59 different countries around the world have made the competition bigger than ever, with the images covering everything from spellbinding aurorae to beautifully intricate galaxies millions of light-years distant.

    9. Phantom of the Universe explores the mysterious dark matter. The show is a collaboration of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, University of Texas at Arlington, Michigan State University, IFIC at University of Valencia, as well as other institutions. It is narrated by Oscar-winning actress, Tilda Swinton.

    10. Seeing follows the journey of a single photon as it is produced in a distant star, before travelling across the vast expanse of space to land on someone's retina. The show was funded by ZEISS.

    11. Mayan Archaeoastronomy: Observers of the Universe makes a tour to the Mayan temples in Mexico and dives into a Mayan world of knowledge about the importance of the orientations of its temples in relation to the movement of some stars like the Sun, the Moon and Venus. The film is financed by the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico, produced by Frutos Digitales with the support of the ESO.

    12. Out There: The Quest for Extrasolar Worlds shows how our perception of our place in the Universe has changed and how the discoveries of exoplanets we made in the last decades even surpassed the dreams of science fiction authors. The film is a production by The Swiss Museum of Transport Planetarium in cooperation with NCCR PlanetS and ESO.

    13. Uncharted Domain - MassArt College 2017This mesmerizing fulldome video is the final work by students of the Art and Science Immersive Media class in the Studio for Interrelated Media (SIM) department at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, produced during the 2017 Spring semester.

    14. Einstein's Gravity Playlist.

    15. Mexica Archaeoastronomy. Through impressive immersive scenarios, "Mexica Archaeoastronomy: between space and time" illustrates the important role played by astronomical observation for the evolution of pre-Hispanic cultures in central Mexico. 

  9. The Data2Dome project. Also see the IPS Data to Dome pages.
  10. Planetarium community white papers: 
    - Christensen, L. et al., 2016, The Data2Dome Project — A consolidated, data-driven content distribution system, The Planetarian (DRAFT)
    - Rößner, M., Christensen, L.L. & Ganter, C., 2016, Characterizing Fulldome Planetarium Projection Systems — The Limitations Imposed by Physics, and Suggestions on How to Mitigate, for IEEE (Paper I)  (DRAFT)
    - Christensen, L., 2016, Characterizing Fulldome Planetarium Projection Systems II The Planetarian (DRAFT)
    - The Astronomy Visualization Metadata (AVM) standard. IPS 2016 talk.
  11. Highres (6-20 kpixels) Exhibition Illustrations for our exhibition Living Universe.
  12. Highres Exhibition Videos for our exhibition Living Universe.
  13. Fulldome clips for Video Jockey-ing (VJ) use
  14. VR movies: these 360 x 180 degree immersive experience movies are a new product type that can be used with Virtual Reality (VR) glasses like Zeiss VR One, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive or Google Cardboard. 
  15. ALMA and Paranal are presented in razor-sharp 4k fish-eye web camera images for use in planetariums around the world. Here are all webcam images. Here is the latest ALMA 4k fisheye image. Here is the latest Paranal webcam image. The refresh rate is roughly once an hour. 
  16. The ESO video archive with free high-res videos
  17. The ESO image archive with free high-res images
  18. ESO Exhibition panels and Apps produced for the permanent exhibition.
  19. ESO Virtual Tours incl. tours in VR.

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Important: before downloading large fulldome files, please read the advice on this page

ESO Supernova material, images and videos, along with the texts of press releases, announcements, photo captions, are released under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Attribution or NoDerivatives licenses and may, on a non-exclusive basis, be reproduced without fee provided they are clearly and visibly credited. For more details and a list of Q&A on licensing please visit this page.

Don’t forget that your shop can earn up to 80% profit from reselling ESO products when placing wholesale bulk orders with us. See last page in the ESOshop Catalogue.

We can also offer to add your planetarium to our media list and receive our ESO and ESA/Hubble press releases 24 to 48 hours in advance of their public release — with full access to the full press release text and associated multimedia. Sign up here.