Royal Astronomical Society

The Royal Astronomical Society ( RAS) began as the Astronomical Society of London (1820 ), to support astronomical research (which was rather operated at that time by amateur astronomers held by professionals ). It was built in 1831 by King William IV of the Royal Astronomical Society. Since 1915, women are admitted as members. It is the UK member organization of the International Astronomical Union and a member of the Science Council.

In their coat of arms, the Company performs a telescope William Herschel, its first president, as well as its Latin motto QUICQUID NITET NOTANDUM, translated "Whatever seems, may be recorded ".


One of the main activities of the RAS and publication of scientific journals. It publishes such Z. two of the world 's leading research journals: MNRAS in astronomy and (in conjunction with the German Geophysical Society) GJI in geophysics. Includes addition, A & G, which overview and other articles of general interest in high-gloss format. The full list of journals that were published by the RAS and ( bibliographic with the abbreviations NASA ADS 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
  • Astronomy & Geophysics (A & G): since 1997


Members of the RAS are called Fellows and can lead FRAS as suffix. Membership is open to anyone over 18 years, the company appears to be acceptable. The company was founded during an era in which it does not yet have been many professional astronomers. To date, therefore no formal academic qualifications for membership are required. Nevertheless, more than 3 /4 of the Fellows professional astronomers and geophysicists -. The company is the professional community of astronomers and geophysicists in the UK and Fellows can obtain the status of a Chartered Scientist by the company. The number of members exceeded in 2003 for the first time 3,000.


The company organizes regular monthly discussion meetings on topics of astronomy and geophysics, which are normally held every second Friday of the month from September to June in London. It also supports the UK National Astronomy Meeting, a longer meeting professional astronomers, which is held each spring and occasionally other meetings in other parts of the UK.

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


The first person in the office of President of the Royal Astronomical Society was William Herschel, who, however, never led a session. Since then, the items of the many excellent astronomers was clothed. It is awarded for Z. for a term of two years.

The last president:

Notable past presidents:


The highest award of the Royal Astronomical Society is their gold medal. Among the most famous winners were Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking 1926 1985.

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