UPDATE: Planetarium in central London for RAS bicentenary

Generic planetarium image
The view inside a planetarium.
Wikicommons / Jacek 767

***UPDATE Friday 28th February: The planetarium is now closed, thank you to all those who attended***

The second half of February will see cutting-edge astrophysics and tours of the night sky come to the courtyard of Burlington House, in central London. Part of the bicentennial celebrations of the Royal Astronomical Society, a pop-up planetarium will run free shows every half an hour, every day from 15 – 28 February.

Science Dome, who run portable planetaria across the UK, will partner with the Society to deliver the programme. Each show will have astronomers Neil Carrington and Giuseppe Nicolosi take visitors on a journey across the night sky, and end with a NASA film on black holes.

Philip Diamond, RAS Executive Director said: “Our partnership with Science Dome will bring a public planetarium to our home for the first time ever. We’ll be offering the public the chance to find out more about the night sky and the science of astronomy – and all free of charge.”

The planetarium is part of a programme running across the UK marking the 200 years since the foundation of the Royal Astronomical Society. Celebrations include a monthly podcast, free public lectures, a major astronomy meeting in Bath in July, an exhibition at the Herschel House Museum, a special set of Royal Mail stamps, and a poem by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage.


Media contacts

Dr Robert Massey
Royal Astronomical Society
Tel: +44 (0)20 7292 3979
Mob: +44 (0)7802 877699

Dr Morgan Hollis
Royal Astronomical Society
Mob: +44 (0)7802 877700

Lucinda Offer
Royal Astronomical Society
Tel: +44 (0)20 7292 3972
Mob: +44 (0)7889 226543


Further information


  • The planetarium will be opening from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day from 15-28 February, covering schools' half term holiday, with a later closing time of 8.30 p.m. on the first day.
  • Shows will run every half an hour and last 20 minutes.
  • Entry is on a first come, first served basis.

More information on the planetarium and the 200th anniversary of the Royal Astronomical Society.


Notes for editors

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS), founded in 1820, encourages and promotes the study of astronomy, solar-system science, geophysics and closely related branches of science. The RAS organises scientific meetings, publishes international research and review journals, recognises outstanding achievements by the award of medals and prizes, maintains an extensive library, supports education through grants and outreach activities and represents UK astronomy nationally and internationally. Its more than 4,400 members (Fellows), a third based overseas, include scientific researchers in universities, observatories and laboratories as well as historians of astronomy and others.

In 2020 the RAS is 200 years old. The Society is celebrating its bicentennial anniversary with a series of events around the UK, including public lectures, exhibitions, an organ recital, a pop-up planetarium, and the culmination of the RAS 200: Sky & Earth project.

Follow the RAS on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

Download the RAS Podcast from Audioboom


Submitted by Robert Massey on Wed, 12/02/2020 - 14:07