Eso Astronomy Camp 2013


What ?

Would you like to spend a week on the Italian Alps to do astronomy activities with other friends of your age from all over Europe?

Join the ESO Astronomy Camp for a unique experience at the Astronomical Observatory of the Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley. 

The camp will explore the theme of the visible and the invisible Universe via several astronomical sessions, including lectures, hands-on activities, and nighttime observations with the telescopes and instruments at the Observatory, alongside various social activities, winter sports, and excursions. ESO will be responsible for the final scientific programme for the ESO Astronomy Camp and will provide support with lecturers and material together with the Astronomical Observatory of the Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley, the University of Valencia and the University of Milan.

The ESO astronomy camp is supported and endorsed by the following institutions: Austrian Planetarium Society, Planétarium de l'Observatorire Royal de Belgique, Tähtitieteellinen yhdistys Ursa, Haus der Astronomie, Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Società Astronomica Italiana, University of Milan - COSMO group, Netherlands Research School for Astronomy, Polish Astronomical Society, Urania - Postępy Astronomii, Urząd Marszałkowski Województwa Kujawsko-Pomorskiego, Astronomical Observatory of the University of Coimbra, Observatorio Astronómico - Universidad de Valencia, Sociedad Española de Astronomía, Onsala Space Observatory, Université de Genève, University of Cag — Space Observation & Research Centre, Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, UK National STEM Centre.

Download the full program here.  Check periodically this page for program updates. 

Program (82.0 KB)

Who ?

The camp is open to maximum 55 secondary school students aged 16-18 (class 1995, 1996 and 1997) from the ESO Member States and ESO Science Outreach Network Countries*. The common language of the camp will be English.
* Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom - Albania, Chile, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, United States

Students from not ESO member states can apply and participate if there are still places available. 

Where ?

The camp will take place at the Astronomical Observatory of the Autonomous Region of the Aosta Valley located in Saint-Barthelemy (Nus) in a natural scenery of unspoiled Alpine beauty, close to some of Europe highest mountains and under a clear sky.

Camp participants will be accommodated at the hostel of Saint Barthelemy, situated next to the Observatory and known for its cheerful atmosphere.
Supervised bus transportation from the airport of Milan Malpensa to the Observatory will be arranged from the organization.

 Nus  /  The Hostel  /  The Observatory

When ?

During the Christmas holidays 2013, from Thursday 26 December to Tuesday 31 December to take advantage of long nights and enjoy a breathtaking winter Alpine landscape. 


Safety is the most important point in the organization of a youth camp.
The ESO Astronomy Camp guarantees:
- a safe accommodation at the hostel  
- supervision by professionals with experience in youth camps
- health factsheet and consideration of allergies and dietary requirements
- "what to bring” factsheet with clear instructions for the needed winter equipment
- first aid trained staff at the hostel
- liability insurance for participants
- telephone and internet contact with families

Costs and application

The camp fee is 480 euro, The fee includes full board accommodation (breakfast, lunch, dinner) at the hostel of Saint Barthelemy, constant supervision by professional staff, all the astronomical and leisure activities, material, excursions, internal transports, and insurance. It does not include pocket money, the travel costs from and to Saint Barthelemy, phone calls and what it is not listed above.  

To register, applicants shall fill the form below and upload a photo, video or text on the theme Astronomy and myself . The entry shall be considered as a short presentation to show the applicant's motivation, enthusiasm and interest to participate to the astronomy camp. 
The applicant with the best entry for participation at the incontestable discretion of the organisers will win a free trip sponsored by ESO (the complete cost of the camp and transportation to the camp).
In addition the following national partners will cover the camp fee for the best entries in their countries: 

  • Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica and University of Milan: Italy
  • Polish Astronomical Society, Urania - Postępy Astronomii: Poland 
  • Sociedad Española de Astronomia: Spain
  • Université de Gèneve: Switzerland

Registrations will close on October 21.
Winners of the financial support and general acceptance will be communicated by October 31.
The final due registration is due by November 8. 

If registrations will exceed the number of available places, acceptance will be based on the following criteria:

  • registration date 
  • fair country representation 


For more information about the programme, how to reach Saint Barthelemy, the selection process, the supervision and any other questions you might have about the camp: 

Cristina Olivotto
Tel: +31 6 48268645 

For more information about ESO and the concept of the ESO Astronomy Camp:

Lars Lindberg Christensen
ESO education and Public Outreach Department
Garching bei München, Germany
Tel: +49 8932006761
Cell: +49 1733872621