es2102 — Organisation Release

The ESO Supernova Planetarium re-opens its doors, offering an improved visual experience

The new programme includes a fresh production and familiar favourites

11 June 2021

Starting Saturday, 12 June 2021, we are happy to welcome our visitors again in the ESO Supernova Planetarium. Due to recent upgrades of our technology, the audience will enjoy an improved visual experience of some of the most beloved shows in our schedule.

The programme is available at this link and tickets to the running shows can already be purchased online.

The new schedule includes fresh shows such as Unseen Universe — a stunning visual treat of the latest splendours of the heavens, as well as some familiar favourites such as From Earth to the Universe — a colourful and inspiring journey through space and time, and Europe to the Stars — an epic journey behind the scenes at the European Southern Observatory (ESO), the most productive ground-based observatory in the world.

Making visitors’ health a priority, the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre has implemented a series of safety and health measures. Planetarium shows will be available as long as the COVID-19 7-day-incidence figure in Landkreis Munich remains below 50. There is no requirement to present a negative test result, but visitors should still observe the other measures implemented, like wearing an FFP2 mask and staying at home in case of feeling unwell or having been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days. Full details of our COVID-19 measures can be found here 

The booking system has been updated, such that 2 seats either side of the reserved seats will be automatically blocked, ensuring 2m distance between each household. As such, there will be around 30 available seats per show.

Since the availability of planetarium shows is dependent on the COVID-19 figures, shows will only be bookable for approximately one week in advance, to avoid possible cancellations and disappointment.

Planetarium guests will also have the opportunity to explore The Living Universe exhibition on the same morning or afternoon. A separate reservation for the self-guided tour is not required and is free of charge.

During the recent closure of the facility, the planetarium has undergone a technological upgrade, which will enable our audience to enjoy the wonders of the Universe in brighter colours and sharper images. The new, quieter equipment, will also improve the acoustic experience, especially during events requiring live narration.

Apart from its improved performance, the Velvet LED Fulldome system, provided by Zeiss, will also help decrease ESO Supernova’s carbon footprint. The new projectors will last ten times longer, requiring less replacements and enabling a decrease in operation costs, in the long run.

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

Oana Sandu
Community Coordinator & Communication Strategy Officer

About the Release

Release No.:es2102


The Helix Nebula in fulldome
The Helix Nebula in fulldome