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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.

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.

In April, the meeting is usually subsumed into the annual week-long RAS National Astronomy Meeting (NAM). 2013 and 2014 are exceptions, as NAM has been moved to July for both those years.

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.

N.B.: 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. 

Accretion States and Feedback
Date: 10 Apr 2015
Time: 10:30

An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Rob Fender (Oxford)*, Steve Balbus (Oxford), Chris Done (Durham), Christian Knigge (Southampton)

*Contact: rob.fender AT


Distinct accretion "states", distinguished by their spectral and temporal properties, which in turn reflect the geometry, optical depth and radiative efficiency of the accretion flows, have been clearly identified in white dwarfs, stellar-mass black holes and neutron stars. These states have been clearly linked to modes of kinetic and radiative feedback in complex but repeatable ways. They have also probably been

identified in supermassive black holes, and understanding the duration and luminosity of a state in any given time period may be the key to understanding feedback from AGN over cosmological time. In this meeting we will summarize and discuss the state of the art in our empirical understanding of these accretion states and associated feedback, and some of the underlying theories for their origin.


Spectroscopy of Airless Bodies in wavelengths from the visible to the microwave: Orbital, Telescopic and/or Laboratory Measurements relevant to Mercury, the Moon and Asteroids
Date: 10 Apr 2015
Time: 10:30

An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Kerri Donaldson Hanna* and Neil Bowles (Oxford), Stephen Lowry (Kent), and Simon Green (Open University)

*Contact: DonaldsonHanna AT


Airless planetary bodies like Mercury, the Moon and asteroids provide a unique opportunity for studying the formation and evolution of planetary surfaces, as there is no weather or liquid water altering their surfaces. Using the individual strengths of each spectroscopic technique, the composition of a planet's surface can be determined through the identification of spectrally dominant minerals exposed at the surface. Our current knowledge of surface compositions come from the analyses of 1) remotely sensed data from spacecraft and telescopes and 2) laboratory measurements of returned sample material or analogues. Join us for a day of discussion on all things spectroscopic of the airless bodies!


10.00 Registration/Tea/Coffee

10.30 Opening remarks – Kerri Donaldson Hanna (

Session 1: Mercury and the Moon - Chair: Neil Bowles (

10.35 Alessandro Maturilli, DLR (Keynote Talk) (

'MERTIS seeing Mercury for the first time in the TIR'

10.55 David Rothery, Open University (

'X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy of Mercury's surface and the Mercury Imaging X-ray Spectrometer (MIXS)'

11.10 Huma Irfan, Birkbeck College (

'Mineralogical insights of a landing site of interest in the lunar South Pole from Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) data from Chandrayaan-1'

11.25 Benjamin Greenhagen, APL Johns Hopkins University ( 

'Thermophysical and Compositional Properties of the Moon Revealed by the Diviner Lunar Radiometer'

11.40 Elliot Sefton-Nash, Birkbeck College (

'LRO Diviner thermal infrared observations to constrain the presence of volatiles at the Moon's poles'

11.55 Tristram Warren, University of Oxford ( 

'A New Instrument for Studying Directional Thermal Infrared Emission: The Oxford Space Environment Goniometer'

12.10 Kerri Donaldson Hanna, University of Oxford (

'Characterisation of Airless Body Analogues Under Simulated Near-Surface Conditions Across Thermal Infrared Wavelengths'

Session 2: Asteroids and Comets - Chair: Simon Green ( and Stephen Lowry (

12.25 Josh Emery, University of Tennessee (Keynote Talk) (

'Compositional and Physical Characterisation of Asteroids using Near- and Thermal-Infrared Remote Sensing Measurements'

12.45 Stephen Lowry, University of Kent (

'Thermal Modeling of Asteroids'

13.00 Lunch

14.00 Ashley King, Natural History Museum (

'Linking meteorites and asteroids with IR spectroscopy'

14.15 Colin Snodgrass, Open University (

'Searching for water ice in the Kuiper Belt: NIR photometry on objects too faint for spectroscopy'

14.30 Alan Fitzsimmons, Queen's University Belfast (

'How wet are the asteroids?'

14.45 Stefano Bagnulo, Armagh Observatory (

'Spectropolarimetry of Comets and Asteroids'

15.00 Neil Bowles, University of Oxford (

'Current data sets and future space based mission and instrument opportunities'

15.15 Wrap-Up Discussion – Simon Green ( and Stephen Lowry (

15.30  Tea will be available in the Lower Library of the Geological Society for those attending the Open (Monthly A&G) Meeting of the Royal Astronomical Society


RAS Ordinary Meeting
Date: 10 Apr 2015
Time: 16:00



Prof. Michele Dougherty (Imperial) Group Achievement Award Winner G
[Title TBC]


Dr Joanna Dunkley (Oxford) Fowler Award Winner A

Observing the early universe


Dr Josh Emery (University of Tennessee)

Trojan Asteroids and the Evolution of the Solar System


Dr Geraint Harker (UCL)

Astronomy from the Moon



Astroseismology: high-precision stellar metrics for the exoplanet era
Date: 8 May 2015
Time: 10:30

An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Simon Jeffery (Armagh), Don Kurtz (UCLAN), Conny Aerts (KU Leuven)

*Contact: csj AT

The geophysical response of the Earth to fluid migration: oil and magma.
Date: 8 May 2015
Time: 10:30

An RAS Specialist Discussion Meeting organised by Kathy Cashman (Bristol), Quentin Fisher (Leeds), Michael Kendall (Bristol)

Contact: gljmk AT


Program tba

2015 AGM
Date: 8 May 2015
Time: 16:00

The AGM is only open to Fellows; non-Fellows intending to attend the following A&G meeting are welcome to wait in the Lower Library of the Geological Society.

RAS Ordinary Meeting
Date: 8 May 2015
Time: 17:00

Talks tba



Please note that this meeting will follow the AGM (16:00 - 17:00 only open to Fellows).

National Astronomy Meeting 2015
Date: 5 Jul 2015
Time: 00:00

The National Astronomy Meeting 2015 will be held in Venue Cmyru, Llandudno, North Wales on the 5th to 9th July 2015 . Please hold the dates in your diary,

The opening reception will be held on the Sunday evening and the scientific programme will run from Monday to Thursday.
The Scientific and Local Organising Committees are being established and will provide information on the scientific programme, registration and accommodation options in the near future.




  1. 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

  2. membership fees for those joining on the day.

  3. Coffee/registration for Specialist Discussion Meetings will commence a half-hour before the formal start time.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 Secretary.

  6. Those wishing to make a contribution at a Specialist Discussion Meeting should contact the appropriate organizers.

  7. Contributions/Speakers for Monthly A&G (Ordinary) Meetings are most welcome, and should contact the Secretary or Executive Secretary.

  8. The Society welcomes suggestions for venues and topics for half- or one-day regional meetings; contact the Secretary or Executive Secretary.

  9. Detailed notes for organizers are available for reference.