Programme: Open House Day 2014

7 October 2014

We would like to remind you that ESO, the world’s most productive ground-based observatory, will open its doors to the public on Saturday 11 October 2014 between 11:00 and 18:00 CEST. The event will be held at ESO’s Headquarters in Garching, near Munich, Germany.

This year ESO will welcome guests to its extended Headquarters, including the two impressive new buildings that have been inaugurated since the last Open House Day in 2013. Visitors will have the opportunity to experience the world of ESO first hand by taking part in many different activities.

If you need help on your way during the Open House Day, look for our members of staff, who are wearing name badges. As ESO is an international organisation, we have staff speaking several languages.

Media representatives who wish to attend the event are asked to confirm their participation by contacting

List of Activities on Offer

Area 1: Welcome to ESO — Get free material about ESO, programme and map of the event, as well as help with directions. Children can pick up passports to collect stamps and get a chance to win gifts if they accumulate all of the stamps from our activities.

Area 2: ESO and ALMA exhibitions with models; Ask an Astronomer — Learn more about ESO’s telescopes and science. If you have questions, look for one of our staff members wearing an “Ask an Astronomer” badge.

Area 3: ESO Chile Chill — Take a moment to relax by watching spectacular images and videos from our sites in Chile.

Area 4: Picture book presentation — Join space rock Pedro and his friends on their exciting adventures.

Area 5: Planetarium — Even though it is daytime, you still get a chance to see the stars thanks to our small inflatable planetarium.

Area 6: Guided tours of ESO — Join our guides on a tour through the ESO premises and learn more about ESO and the new Headquarters extension building.

Area 7: E-ELT prototype components and astronomical instrumentation — Visit our new integration laboratory and learn about instruments, E-ELT prototype component testing and optical experiments.

Area 8: ESOshop — If you are looking for souvenirs or gifts, this is the place to visit.

Area 9: Live connection to Paranal and ALMA in Chile, talks and a screening of the documentary Europe to the Stars — ESO’s first 50 years of exploring the southern sky.

Area 10: Cafeteria — Free drinks are available for our visitors. For a small donation you can also enjoy an international buffet with traditional food from around the world, all homemade by our staff.

Area 11: Hands-on Engineering Work — Do you want to learn how a telescope works? Would you like to try out design software? Or track a star on the computer? Then visit us!

Area 12: Face painting — Children will have lots of fun having their faces painted in diverse astronomical motives such as stars, galaxies or comets.

Area 13: Comet factory — At this spectacular comet making demonstration learn about comets and what they’re made of.

Area 14: Stellarium and a photo collection of the night sky — A demonstration of the Stellarium software and how you can use it to find your way around night sky.

Area 15: Infrared photography — Have your infrared picture taken.

Area 16: Observing with a telescope — If we have clear skies, astronomers will show you the Sun with their small telescopes.


This event is part of the Open House Day activities for the whole Garching research campus, and several other local institutes will also open their doors to the public. Read more details here.



Oana Sandu
ESO, Garching, Germany
Community Coordinator
Phone: +49 89 3200 6965

Herbert Zodet
ESO, Garching, Germany
Open House Day Coordinator
Phone: +49 89 3200 6422

About the Announcement



Open House Day 2014
Open House Day 2014