Eso Astronomy Camp 2014



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 distances in the 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 Heidelberg, the University of Valencia and the University of Cag.

The ESO astronomy camp is supported and endorsed by the following institutions: Austrian Planetarium Society, Planétarium de l'Observatoire Royal de Belgique, Tycho Brahe Planetarium, Tähtitieteellinen yhdistys Ursa, German Astronomical Society, Haus der Astronomie, University of Heidelberg, Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Società Astronomica Italiana, Netherlands Research School for Astronomy, National Children's Fund, Nauka w Polsce PAP, New Space Foundation, Polish Astronomical Society, Urania - Postępy Astronomii, Wiedza i Życie, Ciência Viva,  Petnica Science Center; 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, Science and Technology Facilities Council, Royal Astronomical Society.

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

Icon Program (89.7 KB)


The camp is open to maximum 56 secondary school students aged 16-18 (class 1996, 1997 and 1998) from the ESO Member States and ESO Science Outreach Network Countries (ESON)*. A number of places will be available to students from not ESO nor ESON member states, however they are not eligible to receive the ESO bursaries.
The common language of the camp will be English. 
Participants who participated to the 2013 edition can apply but priority will be given to new applicants.
* Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom - Albania, Australia, Chile, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, United States. 


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


During the Christmas holidays 2014, from Friday 26 December to Thursday 1 January to take advantage of long nights and enjoy a breathtaking winter Alpine landscape. We will celebrate together New Year's Eve with a traditional dinner and a Star Party.


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 European participants
  • telephone and internet contact with families

Costs and application

The camp fee is 500 euro. The fee includes full board accommodation (breakfast, lunch, dinner) at the hostel of Saint Barthelemy, supervision by professional staff, all the astronomical and leisure activities, material, excursions, internal transports, transport from and to Milan Malpensa airport and insurance.
It does not include pocket money, the travel costs from and to Milan Malpensa or Saint Barthelemy, (not emergency) phone calls and what it is not listed above.   

To register, applicants shall fill the form below and upload a video or text (possible with photo) 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 contribute to the camp fee for the best entries in their countries: 

  • Laboratoire d'Astrophysique de Marseille: France
  • German Astronomical Society: Germany 
  • INAF - Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica: Italy
  • Polish Astronomical Society, National Children's fund, New Space Foundation: Poland 
  • Petnica Science Center: Serbia
  • Sociedad Española de Astronomía: Spain
  • Svenska astronomiska sällskapet: Sweden
  • Université de Genève: Switzerland
  • University of Cag: Turkey
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council, Royal Astronomical Society: United Kingdom

Please check periodically this page for the updated list of national sponsoring partners.

Registrations will close on October 20.
Winners of the financial support and general acceptance will be communicated by October 31. The final due registration is due by November 10. 

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

  • registration date 
  • fair country representation 
  • new applications


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

Cristina Olivotto - Sterrenlab 
Tel: +31 6 48268645 

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

Oana Sandu - ESO education and Public Outreach Department 
Tel: +49 89 320 069 65