es2311 — Organisation Release

The new year brings exciting changes at the ESO Supernova

Bookings for our activities until July 2024 are now open

15 December 2023

The ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre will be closed from Saturday 23 December until Tuesday 30 January 2024 as we carry out maintenance work and implement changes that will improve the experience for our visitors.

During this period, the centre will not be open for visits or events, neither to the public nor to private entities. Activities will recommence on Wednesday 31 January 2024, when our regular planetarium shows and educational workshops will resume. Please be aware that from 17:00 on Friday 22 December 2023 until Sunday 7 January 2024, there will be no-one in the office and therefore emails will not be handled during this time.

During this longer closure, some important changes to improve the experience for our visitors will be made. Responding to feedback from visitors, the seats in the planetarium will be replaced with more comfortable seats, offering the option to recline the backs and providing a better view of the planetarium dome. In addition, seats in the first row will be removable, allowing for more space for wheelchair users and a better view. Accessibility is extremely important to the ESO Supernova team and we wish for all visitors to have the best possible experience during their visit. Additionally, the door for the wheelchair accessible toilet on the underground level is being replaced with an automatic door.

Reservations for planetarium shows will remain open online and you can already book all our standard planetarium shows taking place from February to July. As of 2024, the ticket for a planetarium show costs €6,50/person. To improve the experience for visitors with hearing impairments, planetarium shows with subtitles now feature monthly in the programme. A number of headsets which can be connected to a cochlear implant are also available at our reception.

Visitors to the ESO Supernova will have one last chance to visit the temporary exhibition Our largest eye in space – Travelling exhibition on the James Webb Space Telescope, on display until Sunday 25 February 2024.

Designed by the Haus der Astronomie and the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy (MPIA), as part of part of the Wissenschaftsjahr 2023 - Our Universe, the exhibition provides insights into the telescope and its research fields, but also the people who worked on it - from the scientists to the technicians. The exhibition features a detailed 1:10 scale model of the James Webb Space Telescope, an interactive functional model of the filter wheel of the MIRI camera, which was constructed for the telescope by MPIA and an interactive touchscreen with information about the telescope. Visiting the temporary exhibition is free of charge and there is no prior reservation required.

Be sure to look out for exciting evening events during the first months of 2024, including a public talk to mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science in February and more music under the dome, from local band Ark Noir, in March.

For those who wish to organise their events at the ESO Supernova, we kindly ask to submit requests only for events happening after 11 February 2024. At the ESO Supernova, we host two types of company events: science & technology events (conferences, seminars, talks, etc.) and company social days. You can find out more information about how to book one of our rooms or the Void, or request private planetarium shows or tours at the page Your Event at ESO Supernova.

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
Tel: +49 89 320 06 900

About the Release

Release No.:es2311


The world’s first open-source planetarium
The world’s first open-source planetarium