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About the RAS

The aims of the Society

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. More


A brief history

The 'Astronomy Society of London' was conceived on 12 January 1820 when 14 gentlemen sat down to dinner at the Freemason's Tavern, in Lincoln's Inn Fields, London. More


Burlington House

The Society's apartments in Burlington House are situated off London's Piccadilly, approximately half-way between Green Park and Piccadilly underground stations. More



The RAS is directed and managed by an elected Council. More



The RAS relies on several committes to organize aspects of its activities, covering such diverse areas as publications, membership, awards and finance. It also has representatives on several external bodies. More


Associations and affiliated bodies

The Society has formal associations with a number of organizations having shared interests, or offering benefits to RAS members, and has less formal arrangements with several other bodies. More                                                  


Room hire

Fellows can hire rooms in Burlington House for free. Other organizations can hire rooms for a fee. More



Contact details are given for RAS staff, members of Council and Committees, and university points of contact. More


Science policy

The RAS promotes astronomy and geophysics by responding to government and other consultations, by producing policy papers and by networking with other organizations sharing similar aims. More


Astronomy Forum

The Astronomy Forum is an independent, authoritative group drawn from the community at professorial level to discuss issues and present its views to STFC, BIS and other bodies. More



The RAS bye-laws. More


Useful external links

Links to outside sites include organizations with which the RAS has close connections ('associations and affiliated bodies') and others chosen for their scientific relevance. More

RAS logo

The Roundel of the Society incorporates the motto of Sir William Herschel, its first president: quicquid nitet notandum (whatever shines should be observed).