es2309 — Organisation Release

Our largest eye in space

Exhibition on the James Webb Space Telescope is coming to Garching for Wissenschaftsjahr 2023!

1 December 2023

Since mid-2022, the James Webb Space Telescope has been providing fascinating images from the depths of space, from distant star-forming regions to even more distant galaxies. Now the new space telescope is coming to Garching in the form of a small exhibition: as a detailed model on a scale of 1:10, with hands-on instruments and information about the telescope's research, it will be on display in the ESO Supernova from 13 December.

The most powerful telescope currently in space allows scientists to, among other things, take a look at some of the earliest galaxies in the universe, take detailed photos of the births of stars and planetary systems, and study planets orbiting distant stars. At the same time, the telescope is an example of innovative high technology. An important aspect for the Haus der Astronomie and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), who designed and implemented the exhibition: the MPIA was responsible for building the moving parts of two of the instruments on board the telescope. For example, the so-called filter wheels, the functional principle of which can be explored interactively in the exhibition using a simple model.

Accordingly, the exhibition not only presents the telescope and its research fields, but also the people who worked on it - from the scientists to the technicians. Schools can request materials for preparation and follow-up that are particularly suitable for students at vocational schools.

The travelling exhibition is part of the Wissenschaftsjahr 2023, which has the motto “Our Universe”. It is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and has visited 30 different locations throughout Germany throughout 2023.

In Wissenschaftsjahr 2023 - Our Universe, science, politics and society will take a look from Earth into space... and back again from a variety of perspectives. From exhibitions to school activities to participation opportunities: Wissenschaftsjahr 2023 invites young and old to an exciting exchange with science and research.

A look is taken at both ancient human questions about meaning and being as well as current scientific findings from space research, astronomy and other natural and human sciences. In multi-layered perspectives, an arc is created from the beginnings of space to the most pressing issues of our time such as climate change, environmental protection or the development of new energy sources. In Wissenschaftsjahr 2023, important topics relating to space will be examined across disciplines and in conjunction with various research areas.

The travelling exhibition will be on the ground floor of the ESO Supernova from 13 December 2023 and there is no charge for admission.

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”.



ESO Supernova Planetarium & Besucherzentrum
Garching bei Muenchen, Germany
Tel: +49 89 320 06 900

About the Release

Release No.:es2309