YOU ARE HERE: Home > Events & Meetings > RAS Meetings

I want information on:

Information for:

RAS Meetings

The RAS holds regular monthly meetings from October to May covering all aspects of astronomy and solid-earth geophysics, planetary sciences and solar-terrestrial physics. Usually, a pair of Specialist Discussion meetings for Fellows are followed by a more general Astronomy & Geophysics ('Ordinary') meeting, open to the public, of which a number of the talks are available here Ordinary Meeting Videos.

These regular meetings are held on the second Friday of the month, normally in the RAS and Geological Society lecture theatres (both at Burlington House, London). A map to these locations can be found here, and webcasts/podcasts of a number of meetings are available.

E-bulletins summarising imminent meetings can be subscribed to freely.


Specialist Discussion Meetings cover all branches of astrophysics and solid-earth geophysics (including, but not limited to, cosmology, astrobiology, astrochemistry, astroparticle physics, computational astrophysics; geophysical fluid dynamics, planetary sciences, solar-terrestrial physics). If you would like to give a talk at a Specialist Discussion Meeting, please contact the Meeting Organizer.


'Astronomy & Geophysics' (A&G) meetings, also called Ordinary Meetings, have more diverse programmes of talks, at a level accessible to a general audience of scientists (and advanced amateurs).  If you would like to give a talk at an A&G Meeting, please contact the Senior Secretary.

A&G Meetings are open to all, with free admission. Registration charges are levied for the February BGA meeting, and for non-Fellows attending any RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting.

From the Outer to the Inner Solar system: The Origin and Evolution of Comets
Date: 9 Feb 2018
Time: 10:30

A RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by *Alan Fitzsimons (QUB); Stephen Lowry (Kent);Colin Snodgrass (Open University)



There has been significant progress in the past 2-3 years in studies concerning the formation and evolution of comets. From the flood of new results from Rosetta, through new observations of outer solar system bodies and protoplanetary disks, to advanced dynamical and cosmochemical simulations, it is time to take stock. Is there an overall unified picture of the formation and evolution of Jupiter Family, Halley-type and Oort-Cloud comets? How do Main-Belt Comets fit into this picture? Can studies of exocomets provide insight to potential diversity in different comet populations? In this meeting we would like to identify unanswered questions, and the critical advances in observations and theory that are necessary to answer them.


Reserve a space via Eventbrite


The Epoch of Reionisation: UK community update
Date: 9 Feb 2018
Time: 10:30

A RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Emma Chapman (Imperial);
Suman Majumdar (UCL); Catherine Watkinson (Imperial)



For several years now, various radio telescopes have been attempting to observe the 21-cm signal from high-redshift atomic hydrogen, to learn about early generations of stars and galaxies - the Cosmic Dawn and Epoch of Reionisation. However a first detection remains elusive. This meeting will bring together researchers to update the community of developments in the theory, as well as to discuss the challenges faced by current and future telescopes, including the SKA.


(Coffee 10:00-10:30am)
Theory/Simulation (Chair: Suman Majumdar) (10:30 - 11:45)
• Girish Kulkarni - Towards a complete picture of the latter half of reionisation
• Mahavir Sharma -- A diagnostic to constrain the sources of reionization
• Stephen Wilkins -- Exploring the Epoch of Reionisation with the BLUETIDES simulation
• Avery Meiksin -- The role of galactic heating on the EoR 21cm signal
• Paul Alexander -- Bayesian estimation of the EoR power-spectrum applied to HERA
• Ilian Iliev -- Recent results from large-scale simulations of cosmic reionization
• Hannah Ross -- Simulating X-ray heating during the Cosmic Dawn


21-cm Observation/Instrumentation/Data related - (Chair: Catherine Watkinson) (11:55 - 13:00)

• Jonathan Pritchard - Reionization and the Cosmic Dawn as a percolation process
• Eloy de Lera Acedo -- Designing instrumentation for the next generation re-ionization experiments
• Bojan Nikolic -- Initial analysis of HERA observations
• Kingsley Gale-Sides -- The HERA project and current status
• Suman Majumdar -- Current status of LOFAR EoR project
• Jeff Wagg -- An update on the SKA
• Emma Chapman - Foreground Removal


Lunch (not provided) (13:00 - 14:00)


Other observations (Chair: Emma Chapman) (14:00 - 14:40)
• Koki Kakiichi - High Redshift Galaxies
• Alkistis Pourtsidou -- An intensity mapping survey with SKA-LOW
• Rebecca Bowler -- Detecting galaxies in the Epoch of Reionization with Euclid
• Sarah Bosman -- Extreme fluctuations in Lyman-alpha opacity at high redshift: evidence for a population of faint AGN


Discussion session (open to all) (14:40 - 15:30) (Chair: Jonathan Pritchard)

RAS Ordinary Meeting
Date: 9 Feb 2018
Time: 16:00

Talks tba

Ground effects of severe space weather events
Date: 9 Mar 2018
Time: 10:30

A RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by *Ciaran Beggan (BGS); Jim Wild (Lancaster); Mark Gibbs (Met Office)



As a society, the UK is reliant on continuously available electricity supplies and technology such as instantaneous satellite data and communications in order to function safely and efficiently. For example, systems such as transportation networks are increasingly automated and the computer networks which run them require accurate real-time information from embedded electronic sensors and other peripheral data such as timing derived from GPS. However, this dependence increases the exposure to impacts on technology from so-called severe space weather events. Space weather is usually defined as the response of Earth's magnetosphere and ionosphere to sudden rapid changes in the properties of the solar wind such as increases in speed, density and magnetic field strength.

These changes in the magnetosphere and ionosphere cause the magnetic field at the Earth's surface to vary rapidly giving rise to geomagnetically induced currents (GICs) which can flow through conductive grounded equipment, such as high-voltage transformers, affecting the reliability of electricity supplies. The additional energy input from the solar wind also changes the conductivity structure of the ionosphere and pushes the auroral oval equatorward. This affects the propagation of radio waves through the atmosphere delaying GPS signals and leading to spatial and temporal errors on the ground; HF communications to circumpolar aircraft may also be disrupted. As well as the impact on electricity grids, GICs also cause additional unwanted corrosion in pipelines and the potential for signalling or other faults to develop in rail networks.

We seek presentations on a broad topic of ground effect of space weather in the UK (but specifically excluding satellite or spacecraft effects), in particular to GIC in power networks, railways and pipelines and topics such as impacts on surveyors and others end users (e.g. airlines/port authorities) of precise GPS location and timing data.

This specialist discussion meeting, aimed at academic and industry researchers and relevant end users, will discuss the latest research in the UK on understanding and ameliorating these impacts in light of recent developments in the field.


Registration and abstract submission is on the web-form below, with a deadline of 12th February 2018.


To register, and add abstracts:



Merging giant-star asteroseismology with the fate of extrasolar planetary systems
Date: 9 Mar 2018
Time: 10:30

A RAS Specialist Discusion organised by *Dr Tiago Campante (Birmingham); Dr Dimitri Veras (Warwick)



Although stars spend a significant fraction of their lives on the main sequence, they undergo their most dramatic physical changes during post-main-sequence evolution. The fates of their daughter planetary systems may be similarly violent. Hence, the simultaneous study of both planets and stars along the latter's subgiant and giant-branch phases is capable of providing constraints on tidal, mass-loss and radiative processes, as well as invaluable insight into the processes of planet formation and evolution. An international meeting in Haifa, Israel (2017) — the second in a series of conferences focussing on planetary systems beyond the main sequence — recently highlighted the growing interest in this new field of research among observers and theoreticians alike.

Over 100 planets and several debris discs are now known to orbit subgiant and giant stars, thereby providing constraints on their past and future evolution. Further, the absence of planets close to other giant stars signifies destructive processes at work. A critical restriction on the nature and timescale of these destructive processes is stellar age, a previously poorly- constrained property.
Fortunately, new insights on the theory of stellar evolution and stellar interiors physics have been made possible by asteroseismology, the study of stars by the observation of their natural, resonant oscillations. Asteroseismology is proving to be particularly significant for the study of evolved stars, namely, subgiant and red-giant stars. These stars exhibit solar-like oscillations. The information contained in solar-like oscillations allows fundamental stellar properties (e.g., mass, radius and age) to be precisely determined, while also allowing the internal stellar structure to be constrained to unprecedented levels. As a result, asteroseismology is quickly maturing into a powerful tool whose impact is being felt more widely across different domains of astrophysics. A noticeable example is the synergy between asteroseismology and exoplanetary science.

During this RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting we will review our current understanding of the evolution and fate of extrasolar planetary systems during the subgiant- and red-giant-branch stellar evolutionary phases. Furthermore, by bringing together members of the leading UK exoplanets and asteroseismology communities, we expect to establish a roadmap for the effective and synergetic exploitation of the wealth of space-based data that will soon become available to both communities. In this regard, we highlight the upcoming NASA TESS and ESA CHEOPS satellites, both with launches scheduled for 2018, thus stressing the timeliness of this meeting.


RAS Ordinary Meeting
Date: 9 Mar 2018
Time: 16:00

Talks tba

European Week of Astronomy & Space Science (EWASS)/National Astronomy Meeting (NAM) 2018
Date: 3 Apr 2018
Time: 09:00

Joint annual meeting of the European Astronomical Society (EAS) and the National Astronomy Meeting (NAM) of the Royal Astronomical Society (RAS)


Call for Session Organisers : deadline on 14 July 2017


Dynamics and evolution of Earth’s coupled core-mantle system
Date: 11 May 2018
Time: 10:30

A RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Chris Davies (Leeds);
Andy Biggin (Liverpool); Dario Alfe (UCL)


The Gravitational Wave Binary Black Hole Opportunity For Astronomy
Date: 11 May 2018
Time: 10:30

A RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by *Carole Mundell (Bath); Samaya Nissanke (Radboud); Hiranya Peiris (UCL)


Date: 11 May 2018
Time: 16:00

RAS Ordinary Meeting
Date: 11 May 2018
Time: 17:00

Talks tba


  • Fees: Admission to the Society's Monthly A&G (Ordinary) Meetings is open to all, at no charge. Admission to the Specialist Discussion Meetings is normally free to RAS members and £15 to non-members (£5 to students), collected on the door, while  GSL members may normally attend "G" meetings at no charge. Note that special rates apply for the February BGA meeting. RAS and GSL members should bring their membership cards, and students their student cards, as identification.
  • Tea will be served before A&G meetings (15:30, at Geological Society Lecture Theatre, Burlington House). A drinks reception will follow A&G meetings, in the Burlington House apartments of Royal Astronomical Society.
  • Coffee/registration for Specialist Discussion Meetings will commence a half-hour before the formal start time.
  • Copies of the detailed programme will be circulated, to those who have asked for them, approximately two weeks in advance of each meeting. Any member who does not already receive these details but wishes to do so should notify the Executive Director.
  • Those wishing to make a contribution at a Specialist Discussion Meeting should contact the appropriate organizers.
  • The Society welcomes suggestions for venues and topics for half- or one-day regional meetings; contact the Secretary or Executive Director.
  • Detailed notes for organizers (including the Code of Conduct for RAS meetings) are available for reference.