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Burlington House

A Virtual Tour of the RAS Premises: The Main Staircase

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The staircase has been stripped of its 1960s blue and white paint and returned to its original black and highlighted with gold leaf to give a truly splendid effect.

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On the first floor landing is a newly commissioned window designed and produced by Sally Scott, in association with Nero Designs, made from 10mm thick white glass using acid, sandblast and colour.
The window is an abstract interpretation of astronomy and geophysics. It shows a cosmic spiral, containing the motto of the Royal Astronomical Society, QUICQUID NITET NOTANDUM (Whatever shines should be observed).
Within the spiral are numbers of astronomical importance:
2.73 (the temperature of the cosmic microwave background) and 223 (the number of lunar synodic months in a Saros cycle of eclipses). The 5 Platonic Solids are timeless symbols of the elements and the relationship of mathematics to the Universe. The elliptical orbits represent the Pioneer space probes to beyond the Solar System, as of 2007 – the farthest humankind has penetrated. Next
Also of interest: A brief history of the Society