es1907 — Organisation Release

A winter special: Enlightening Time Travel

Come and see the live Planetarium Show in December

14 November 2019

This winter, the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre has a special addition to its programme: the show Enlightening Time Travel. Screening only 4 times during the month of December, the show takes you on a journey to the extremes of space, time, and energy, offering answers to questions such as: How did ancient cultures experience the impressive night sky? How did this impression change with the advent of the European Southern Observatory’s most advanced telescopes? Which stories were told back then, and which ones are today?

During the one-hour planetarium show, settle down to wonder at the quiet sense of magic of the Universe, as it was felt thousands of years ago by ancient cultures and religions and as it is revealed now by the astronomers and engineers of the European Southern Observatory (ESO). 

This special planetarium show will be shown between 1 and 22 December 2019. To reserve your seat, follow this link.

Celestial phenomena have always fascinated humankind, whether it was the returning Sun that gave hope during the enduring cold winter, or the star of Bethlehem that blazed the trail for the three Magi. They encircled myths, influenced the development of many cultures and religions, and sparked scientific curiosity.

Enlightening Time Travel invites you to follow in our ancestor's footsteps and explore the magnificent sky, from their ancient tales, to recent discoveries made with ESO’s dedicated instruments and interpreted via advanced analysis techniques. Find out how astronomers and engineers extend their search far beyond the visible range and let them reveal to you a manifold Universe that no one could have imagined before. 

Come on board our spaceship to visit the extremes of the Universe; and always remember to look back at our tiny blue dot — the Earth — an oasis in the depths of space.

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, 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”.



Tania Johnston
ESO Supernova Coordinator
Garching bei München, Germany

Oana Sandu
Community Coordinator & Communication Strategy Officer — ESO Department of Communication

About the Release

Release No.:es1907


"Enlightening Time Travel" poster
"Enlightening Time Travel" poster
"Das Licht der Erkenntnis: eine Zeitreise" poster
"Das Licht der Erkenntnis: eine Zeitreise" poster