EGO and Virgo Open Day is back!

May 13, 2024

On May 24th, from 2 PM to 10 PM, the European Gravitational Observatory (EGO) will open its doors to visitors for the research centre’s first Open Day since the beginningpandemic. Workshops, games, shows and activities will accompany people of all ages throughout the afternoon and evening to discover gravitational waves, and the only observatory in Europe capable of listening to them.

“Finally, since March this year, Virgo has been listening to the Cosmos again, together with our international partners, after a long and complex process of technological upgrades and fine-tuning. The Open Day will therefore be an extraordinary opportunity to meet science enthusiasts of all ages, and also a way of celebrating together with citizens the restart of scientific activity,” said EGO’s director, Massimo Carpinelli.

A great festival dedicated to curiosity about science and fun education for all which, in addition to guided tours of the experiment, will offer the public interactive workshops on the most compelling and exciting aspects of gravitational wave research. Visitors will be able to discover, for example, how Virgo scientists hunt down ‘noises’ that could disturb gravitational wave detection or play with the ‘vacuum’ in installations especially prepared for the public by technicians working on the experiment’s ‘ultra-high vacuum’. It will be possible to listen to the ‘sound’ of black hole mergers that occurred millions of years ago in the deep Universe or to manipulate light using laser technology that enables the detection of gravitational waves.

Some of the workshops will be dedicated to children, such as “Coloured Circuits”, in which girls and boys will learn the basics of electronics in a safe and fun way using salt dough, or “Play with the Human Interferometer” in which they will mime the different components of the interferometer to the rhythm of music, creating a spectacular group choreography.

During the evening, EGO and Virgo will host a live performance of “ORA – I limiti del pianeta”, a show for videomapping, original music and sounds by Imaginarium, the Tuscan visual arts studio directed by Davide Giannoni and Francesca Pasquinucci. A project that addresses the themes of climate change, loss of environmental awareness and the harmonious and disharmonious relationship between Space and planet Earth, realised with the scientific contributions of ESA European Space Agency, ASI Agenzia Spaziale Italiana, EGO European Gravitational Observatory and INGV Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia.

In the evening, there will also be an area of the Laboratory dedicated to astronomy enthusiasts, where it will be possible to observe the night sky thanks to telescopes and the expert guidance of the Associazione Cascinese Astrofili (ACA).

Booking for all activities, both afternoon and evening, is compulsory. In order to limit the number of people on site at the same time, and to allow everyone to participate, the afternoon activities will be divided into three shifts, starting at 2 pm and ending at 8.30 pm. For more information and to book your favourite activities, please visit the dedicated webpage: 


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