Object 8

Unsigned work
Stained glass window celebrating the International Geophysical Year
Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium
Inv. N/A


«The fundamental importance of geophysical phenomena for the economy, their universality, complexity and the mystery surrounding so many physical phenomena in the Earth's atmosphere, on the Earth's surface or in the Earth's core, explain the great interest in interpreting and understanding such phenomena. However, progress in understanding such matters is only possible with continuous and regular study and interpretation of observations, which can take months and even years, in collaboration with observation centres worldwide. Geophysics is a study of the entire globe, regarding it as an experimental laboratory.»

(Fragment from the introductory speech by Edmond Léon Lahaye (1897-1982), director of the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium (RMI) from 1951 to 1962, to mark the International Geophysical Year).

For 18 months, 1 July 1957 to 31 December 1958, better known as International Geophysical Year 1957-1958, more than sixty countries took part in this large international scientific event. More than three thousand global observatories and measurement stations, including those in the most inhospitable areas, explored the same scientific areas simultaneously..

This stained-glass window was installed on the first floor of the RMI's B building, which was built especially for the event. The building initially housed the RMI's radiation department, then the Royal Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy (BISA), pending the actual construction of the RMI. The stained-glass window is an artistic representation of the Earth, Sun, space and stars ... and the Moon, as an illustration of geophysical science as a whole.

Edmond Lahaye is famous because, while he was director, he organised the building of a new site in Uccle and the geophysical centre in Dourbes (Viroinval) in the province of Namur.

Dallas Barr : Nouvelle Lune / Nieuwe maan
Sc : J.Haldeman
Dupuis, 1999


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