Royal Astronomical Society

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The seat of the RAS since 1874 - Burlington House in London, in 2004.

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) began as the Astronomical Society of London (1820) to aid astronomical research (which at the time was practiced by amateur astronomers rather than professionals). It became the Royal Astronomical Society in 1831 by King William IV . Women have been admitted as members since 1915. It is the UK's member organization of the International Astronomical Union and a member of the Science Council .

In its coat of arms, the society has a telescope for William Herschel , its first president, and his Latin motto QUICQUID NITET NOTANDUM, which translates as “Whatever seems to be recorded”.


One of the main activities of the RAS is the publication of scientific journals. She publishes z. Currently two of the world's leading research journals : MNRAS in astronomy and (in connection with the German Geophysical Society ) GJI in geophysics. Also A&G, which contains overview and other articles of general interest in glossy format. The full list of journals that have been and will be published by the RAS (using the abbreviations of the NASA ADS bibliographic codes):

  • Memoirs of the Royal Astronomical Society (MmRAS): 1822-1978
  • Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS): since 1827
  • Geophysical Supplement to Monthly Notices (MNRAS): 1922–1957
  • Geophysical Journal (GeoJ): 1958-1987
  • Geophysical Journal International (GeoJI): since 1988
  • Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society (QJRAS): 1960-1996
The journal contained articles on astronomy or geophysics, with an emphasis on research papers, conference reports, contributions to the history of science and reports on research groups and institutes, and obituaries.
  • Astronomy & Geophysics (A&G): since 1997


Members of the RAS are called fellows and can add FRAS to their name. Membership is open to anyone over the age of 18 who society considers acceptable. The society was founded during an era when there weren't many professional astronomers. To date, therefore, no formal academic qualifications are required for membership. Yet more than 3/4 of the fellows are professional astronomers and geophysicists. The Society is the professional community of astronomers and geophysicists in the United Kingdom and Fellows can acquire Chartered Scientist status through the Society . The number of members exceeded 3,000 for the first time in 2003.


The Society organizes regular monthly discussion sessions on topics related to astronomy and geophysics, which are normally held in London on the second Friday of the month from September to June. It also sponsors the UK National Astronomy Meeting, an extended meeting of professional astronomers held every spring, and occasionally other meetings in other parts of the UK.

Together with the Geological Society of London , the society sponsors the British Geophysical Association .


The first person to serve as President of the Royal Astronomical Society was William Herschel , who never chaired a meeting. Since then the post has been held by many excellent astronomers. He is z. Z. awarded for a term of two years.

The last presidents:

Notable Past Presidents:


The Royal Astronomical Society's highest honor is its gold medal . Among the best-known winners were Albert Einstein in 1926 and Stephen Hawking in 1985.

Other awards include the Eddington Medal , the Herschel Medal , the Chapman Medal , the Price Medal, and the Jackson Gwilt Medal .

See also

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Bibliographic information for this journal. Library catalog . Wheaton College - Helin Library. Retrieved January 18, 2011.
  2. ^ Bibliographic information for this journal. Library catalog . Amherst College / Hampshire College / Mount Holyoke College / Smith College / University of Massachusetts Amherst . Retrieved January 18, 2011.
  3. Compiled by John Williams of the Royal Astronomical Society: A general index to the first twenty-nine volumes of the Monthly notices of the Royal astronomical society (Proceedings of the society from February 9, 1827, to 1868-69 session), Strangeways and Walden, London 1870, OCLC 42319444 .