COVID-19 Measures

We are delighted to be able to welcome you again to the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre. The health and safety of our visitors and staff is of great importance to us and, in line with guidance from the authorities, we have developed a comprehensive hygiene and safety concept to provide you with the safest and most enjoyable experience possible. Before your visit, we ask that you read about our hygiene and safety measures below and, whilst at the ESO Supernova, please observe any instructions given.

By working together and all observing guidelines, we can protect each other, reduce the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the ESO Supernova, and other such visitor attractions, can be enjoyed safely by as many people as possible.

Summary of our measures:

  • Wearing a mask (covering nose and mouth) is compulsory in the ESO Supernova.
  • ALL visits must be booked in advance (even free of charge self-guided visits to the exhibition).
  • Physical distancing of 2m.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are available throughout the building.
  • One-way system in the exhibition.
  • Limited number of visitors per day.
  • Please stay at home if you feel unwell or have been in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

FAQS ON PROTECTIVE MEASURES TO HELP CONTAIN COVID-19 

WHAT CROWD-CONTROL MEASURES ARE IN PLACE? 

To avoid crowds forming and to provide you with the safest and most enjoyable experience possible, we have introduced timed sessions for visiting our exhibition, with a limited number of tickets available. A self-guided visit to the exhibition must be booked online in advance. Please arrive at the specified time and register your attendance with our reception team. 

We ask that you be aware of other visitors queuing and clustering, especially at the reception desk or restrooms. Some smaller areas will have signage to indicate the maximum number of people allowed at one time. 

We request your active assistance and alertness in helping us comply with the physical distancing regulations. 

WHAT RESTRICTIONS ARE IN PLACE FOR VISITORS? 

The state government of Bavaria has issued clear restrictions on the movement of individuals which also apply to museum visits: Anyone who has had contact with a person with COVID-19 within the last 14 days is prohibited from visiting public venues. This also applies to anyone feeling sick themselves, even when they believe the symptoms are mild. 

DO I HAVE TO BRING MY OWN MASK? 

The wearing of a mouth and nose protector is mandatory. Our staff will also be wearing protective masks. We ask you to bring your own mask and to wear it already when entering the building and during your entire stay. Masks are not mandatory for children under the age of 6 years old. Our team will be monitoring the situation in the building and reminding our visitors to wear their mask. If you do not comply with these rules, you will be asked to leave.  

HOW EXACTLY WILL THE PHYSICAL DISTANCING RULES BE IMPLEMENTED? 

The number of visitors per day will be reduced until further notice. Floor markings and signs with instructions have been placed around the building. Certain spaces have been closed off, or a limit is indicated for maximum number of people. If you are in one of the smaller spaces, which has a maximum capacity, please be fair to other visitors who are waiting to enter the space and try not to linger too long. We want everyone to be able to enjoy their visit as much as possible.

To maintain physical distancing in the planetarium shows, a limited number of seats will be available for each show. Online advance booking is essential. 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.

WHAT OTHER HYGIENE MEASURES DOES THE ESO SUPERNOVA HAVE IN PLACE? 

Contact surfaces have been reduced. This unfortunately means that not all exhibits are available. 

All areas of the building are being cleaned regularly. In addition, the visitor centre will be closed for 1 hour each day, to allow additional cleaning to be carried out. 

Hand sanitiser stations are available throughout the building. We ask that you sanitise your hands before using any hands-on exhibits.   

DO THE NORMAL TICKET PRICES APPLY? 

Ticket prices have not changed. A self-guided visit to the exhibition is still free of charge and a ticket for the planetarium costs 5 Euros. We would very much welcome a donation, which can be made at our reception desk or online

HAVE THE OPENING HOURS CHANGED? 

We have modified our opening hours slightly. Each day we are open, the centre will close for one hour in the middle of the day to accommodate more thorough cleaning. During the week (Wednesday-Friday) we are open from 09:00-12:30 and from 13:30-17:00. At the weekend, we are open from 12:00-14:30 and again from 15:30-18:00 (one hour later than usual). If you book to visit our exhibition in the morning you are welcome to stay in the building until 12:30, but then you will be asked to leave. If you wish to come back into the building at 13:30, you need to book another timed visit. 

HOW DO I GET MY TICKET? 

Tickets should be booked in advance online. If you do not have a pre-booked timed visit, you will only be able to enter if there are still spaces available. This could mean waiting outside until the next available time slot or coming back later. 

If you don’t have a specific date in mind, you can see all available (and currently bookable) activities on this webpage https://supernova.eso.org/programme/

  • Click on the activity of your choice
  • Click on the date and time you wish to visit 
  • Complete your information (email address and telephone number) 
  • Complete your booking 
  • You will receive a confirmation email 

If you have a specific date in mind, you can see the available sessions on that day in our calendar here https://supernova.eso.org/germany/programme/calendar/ 

  • Click on the time you wish to visit 
  • Complete your information (email address and telephone number) 
  • Complete your booking 
  • You will receive a confirmation email 

When you arrive at the ESO Supernova, you should report to the reception desk, so that our team can register that you have attended. Please arrive on time for your session. 

WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH THE PERSONAL INFORMATION I PROVIDE WHEN MAKING A BOOKING? 

When making a booking you are required to enter your email address and a telephone number. Your email address is required should we need to contact you to cancel or change your booking (for example, if the COVID-19 situation worsens and we are required to close again). At this time, we are also asking for a telephone number, which we will pass to the authorities should there be a case of COVID-19 in the ESO Supernova. We will not pass your personal information to other organisations, or use it in any other way, and the information will be deleted from our systems 4 weeks after your visit. On the booking page, if you tick the box to say you wish to remain informed about the ESO Supernova, your email address will be saved, such that we can add you to our newsletter mailing list.   

HOW CAN I TRAVEL TO THE ESO SUPERNOVA? 

We recognise that you may not wish to travel with public transport currently. There are a limited number of parking spaces in front of the ESO Supernova. These parking spaces are free of charge. Nearby, on the campus, there is a large parking area, where it is necessary to buy a parking ticket. Additionally, we have spaces where you can lock your bicycle, should you prefer to combine your visit with some fresh air and exercise. If you do feel safe to travel on public transport, you can reach the Forschungszentrum with the U6 or bus numbers 230, 292 and 690. You can find full directions on this webpage https://supernova.eso.org/visit/directions/ 

ARE GROUP VISITS POSSIBLE? 

Visits of larger groups are not currently possible. A maximum of 6 tickets can be booked per person. If you intend to visit with another household, we ask that each individual household books their own tickets.  

CAN I CHECK ITEMS OF CLOTHING AND BAGS? 

Only a limited number of lockers are available. We therefore recommend that on the day of your visit you avoid bringing rucksacks and larger bags (any bag larger than an A4 sheet of paper). You will need to have a coin of 1 or 2 Euro as deposit to use the locker. 

ARE THERE GUIDED TOURS? 

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer guided tours through our exhibition or the ESO premises, until further notice. The requirement to maintain physical distance and to avoid the formation of groups unfortunately makes guided tours in our buildings impossible. However, the exhibition is designed in a way that it is possible to enjoy a self-guided visit. 

CAN I USE THE PICNIC AREA? 

We have limited the number of tables and chairs available in the indoor picnic area. A maximum of one household per table is allowed. Our vending machines with snacks and drinks are still available for you and are being cleaned regularly – please remember to bring small change with you for these. You are also welcome to bring food from home. The outdoor picnic area behind the building will not be available. However, in front of the ESO Supernova, there are benches and some grassy areas, where you are welcome to sit, to enjoy some food. 

IS THE GIFT SHOP OPEN? 

Yes, our gift shop is open. As the gift shop area is very small, you may be asked by our reception team to wait until others have left the shop. We ask for payment by card, when possible. Alternatively, you can purchase most products in our online shop https://www.eso.org/public/shop/ and have them posted to an address of your choice.