es1903 — Organisation Release

IAU Astronomy Education Conference comes to ESO Supernova

The ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre will be the venue for the inaugural IAU Astronomy Education Conference in September 2019

13 March 2019

ESO will host the 2019 IAU Astronomy Education Conference on 16–18 September 2019 at the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre. The conference will bring together astronomers, astronomy education researchers, and education practitioners to further the IAU’s commitment to improving the quality, quantity, community, and impact of astronomy education research and practice.

Hosting this conference will leverage the ESO Supernova’s standing as a cutting-edge astronomy education centre offering a diverse educational programme to school children, kindergartners, and teachers. Conference attendees will be able to fully explore the Supernova’s activities, including workshops, tours, and over 2200 m2 of interactive exhibits, as well as the largest tilted planetarium dome in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

The conference will focus on three main themes: astronomy education research; astronomy education standards, curriculum and instruction; and primary and secondary teacher education. These themes will be covered in talks, posters and workshops. The topics will be examined from various approaches, from purely theoretical research to the practical issues encountered when attempting to embed recent educational and astronomical research in real-world education.

Potential conference participants can find more information on the website, including information on submitting abstracts and applications for travel grants. The abstract submission deadline is 21 May, 2019. Further information can also be found in the conference circular here. ESO looks forward to hosting the presenters and attendees in September for the debut of this innovative and exciting event.

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 and entrance is free, but requires prior booking. 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, the Czech Republic, 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”.



Wolfgang Vieser
ESO Education Coordinator
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 89 320 061 83

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

About the Release

Release No.:es1903


2019 IAU Astronomy Education Conference
2019 IAU Astronomy Education Conference
ESO Supernova opening — a new supernova over Munich
ESO Supernova opening — a new supernova over Munich