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General information for everyone

Introduction to astronomy

If you are interested in astronomy but don’t know where to start, we have prepared this general introduction, which includes some guidance on buying a telescope.

This website is a good place to start if you are a beginner and you would like a guide to astronomy:


International Year of Light 2015

International Year of Light2015 marks the UNESCO International Year of Light and Light Based Technologies. Celebrations will take place throughout the year, across the globe, and involve events and activities covering a wide variety of topics for all ages and levels of expertise. To find out what is going on near you have a look at the IYOL 2015 UK website.

See also:


UK science


FAQs and Ask an Astronomer
Do you have a burning Astronomy or Geophysics question? Have you ever wondered why the sky is blue or what the seasons would look like on Uranus?


Then now is the time to ask our resident astronomers and geophysicists!

Just email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or tweet us @RAS_outreach and we will get those questions answered!


UK observatories

Although professional astronomers often have to use observatories in countries less affected by light pollution than the UK, there are a large number of instruments used by the amateur community or for training students.


Did you know…

That the RAS has a piece of Newton's apple tree and other amazing artefacts?



  • Our 'link farms' in astronomy and geophysics provide links to sources of astronomical images, guides to the night sky and other information.
  • Links to sources of astronomical and geophysical slides, photographs, memorabilia, videos etc can be found in this Library Information Sheet.



A selection of articles from the Society's journal, Astronomy & Geophysics (A&G), are available online: