es2003 — Organisation Release

ESO Supernova to reopen on Wednesday 5 August!

3 August 2020

After 5 months of closure, the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre is delighted to be able to welcome visitors again from Wednesday 5 August.

Tania Johnston, Head of ESO Supernova, said: “We have missed our visitors so much and are thrilled to be welcoming them back. It has been a challenging time for many, and we know the ESO Supernova has become a place to enjoy time with family and friends and to be inspired by astronomy.  

The health and safety of our staff and visitors is very important to us and everyone can feel confident that we have been working incredibly hard to ensure their visit will be both safe and enjoyable. Things might feel a little different when you visit, but the ESO Supernova still shines just as brightly.

The visitor experience at the ESO Supernova has been reviewed and to begin with there will be a more limited offer than usual, and some spaces where physical distancing cannot be maintained remaining closed. Many of the touchscreens in the exhibition will be switched off, but in most cases the information can be accessed by using a smart phone with a QR code reader. The most popular exhibits, like the relativity bike and solar system explorer, are still available, with hand sanitiser stations nearby.

Initially, only the exhibition will be accessible, but it is hoped that planetarium shows can be reintroduced to the programme soon.

To control the number of visitors each day, online advance booking for free tickets to visit the exhibition is essential and now possible at  Booking a self-guided exhibition visit includes not only the 2200 m² ESO Supernova permanent exhibition, The Living Universe, but also the fantastic Laser Light Life exhibition, which has been extended to the end of October 2020.

The opening hours of the ESO Supernova have been modified slightly. Each day, the visitor centre will close for one hour, to allow additional cleaning to be carried out. 

The latest information and guidance about your visit can be found on our website:  

For those who are not able to travel to Garching, the content of the exhibition can be accessed online and further interesting astronomy information can be found on the ESO Supernova Facebook page.

To be the first to hear when planetarium shows are available again, sign up for the ESO Supernova Newsletter.

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 a digital planetarium with a tilted, 360-degree dome, 14 metres in diameter, 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. 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 and Sky-Skan.


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
Head of ESO Supernova

About the Release

Release No.:es2003


An exhibition of stars
An exhibition of stars
Laser, Light, Life temporary exhibition
Laser, Light, Life temporary exhibition