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  • Events & Meetings
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    • EVENTS & MEETINGS

      The calendar below holds details of RAS Meetings (blue), Public Lectures (orange), Friends events (green) and external meetings (purple).

      It can be customized to your favourite view and can be accessed as a Google calendar.

      Sign up for email notification of meetings.

      Here is information for speakers at, and organizers of, RAS meetings.

       

      Click on any meeting for more information. (Please be patient – the calendar may take a few seconds to load.)

       

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    • Public Lectures
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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. In April, the meeting is subsumed into the annual week-long RAS National Astronomy Meeting, which in 2010 will be in Glasgow.

       

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    • Specialist Discussion Lectures

      Videos from our Specialist Discussion series are now available online.

      The two most recent lectures are shown below; the full list is available at the bottom of this page.

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    • External Meetings
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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

     

    Council

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

     

    Committees

    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

     

    Contacts

    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

     

    Bye-laws

    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).

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  • Publications

     

    A&G coverJournals: A&G, GJI and MNRAS

    The RAS publishes results of original research in its major journals Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS) and Geophysical Journal International (GJI). The society also publishes Astronomy & Geophysics (A&G), a full-colour news and reviews journal which is distributed to all members. More

     

    The Royal Astronomical Series

    Books: The Royal Astronomical Series

    The RAS series, a series on astronomy and astrophysics, geophysics, solar and solar-terrestrial physics, and planetary sciences, published by Springer, will contain a wide variety of books in areas of concern to the Society. More

     

    ginukOther publications

    The RAS produces other one-off publications, including guides to astronomy and geophysics in the UK, leaflets for schools, and studies of the impact of astronomy & geophysics on society. RAS members may also subscribe to The Observatory magazine at specially discounted rates. More

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    • RAS Journals
      General information

      The RAS publishes results of original research in its major journals, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS) and Geophysical Journal international (GJI). Astronomy & Geophysics (A&G) is the Society's full-colour news and reviews journal, distributed to all Fellows.

      Access to electronic editions of all these journals is free to Fellows of the society. Heavily discounted subscription rates are offered to Fellows for the printed editions of MNRAS and GJI, on the understanding that journals are strictly for personal use.

      The journals adhere to an pdfEditorial Code of Practice and the research journals (and major articles in A&G) are rigorously peer reviewed by the RAS. The journals are published on behalf of the Society by Oxford University Press (OUP), and are governed by the RAS publications management structure and the pdfRAS publishing policy. The RAS also has a pdfpolicy on open access publishing and article repositories, and allows authors to make use of both of these for articles published in its research journals.

       

      Astronomy & Geophysics

      A&G coverAstronomy & Geophysics (A&G) is the RAS's bimonthly house journal, distributed to all Fellows of the society. It publishes articles, news and reviews on topics in astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, planetary science, solar-terrestrial physics, global and regional geophysics, and the history of these subjects. A&G also publishes discussions of topical items, reports of meetings, scientific news reports, and acts as a forum for discussion of all matters of interest to professional astronomers and geophysicists.

      See our example articles, read more information, see the members of the A&G Editorial Boad, or get online access from OUP.

       

      Geophysical Journal International

      GJI coverGeophysical Journal international (GJI) is the primary solid-earth geophysics journal based in Europe, publishing the results of research on the earth's internal structure, physical properties, evolution and processes covering all aspects of theoretical, computational and observational geophysics.

      Subjects covered include:

      • earthquake and controlled-source seismology, tides, the Earth's gravitational field in relation to its shape, deep interior, crustal structure, stress and isostasy;
      • palaeomagnetism and rock magnetism and their applications to geomagnetism, internal processes and geotectonics;
      • heat flow, electromagnetism, rheology and volcanology;
      • geophysics applied to the structure and evolution or rifts, ridges, trenches, mountains, continents and oceans.

       

      See the current members of the GJI Editorial Board, or get online access and more information from OUP.

       

      Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

      MNRAS coverMNRAS Letters coverMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS) is one of the world's leading astronomy journals. It publishes the results of original research in positional and dynamical astronomy, astrophysics, radio astronomy, cosmology, space science and the design of astronomical instruments. There is also an online Letters section for the rapid publication of short but timely articles in those subjects.

      See the pdfMNRAS infographic, the members of the MNRAS Editorial Board, or see the Oxford Journals website for more information and to browse MNRAS or MNRAS Letters online.

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    • Books

      Mary_BruckThe Royal Astronomical Society Series, a series on Astronomy & Astrophysics, Geophysics, Solar and Solar-terrestrial Physics and Planetary Sciences, published by Springer, will contain a wide variety of books in areas of concern to the Society, including:

      • monographs
      • lecture notes
      • books on historical themes
      • educational themes
      • advanced amateur astronomy
      • conference proceedings (if there is need and high quality)


      Prospective editors or authors, who need not be members of the Society to publish in the Series, should approach the Commissioning Editor:

      Dr Simon Mitton
      8a Canterbury Close
      Cambridge
      CB4 3QQ
      United Kingdom
      Tel.: +44-1223-564914
      Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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    • Other publications
      Astronomy Means Business: How UK research benefits industry, education and science

      AstronomyMeansBusiness.CoverSmall

      This 20-page booklet gives an overview of developments in business, industry and society that have arisen from research in astronomy and astrophysics.

      Published in March 2016.

      Available online.


      NAM author workshop

      author workshopThe MNRAS authors' guide to good practice in writing research papers and getting them published.

      Published in August 2015; updated June 2016.

      Available online.


      How to view an eclipse safely

      eclipse booklet smallWhat is a solar eclipse, and how is it caused? What can members of the public expect to see, and how can they observe an eclipse safely? This booklet explains the answers to these questions and more.

      Published in January 2015.

      Available online.


      Going Underground: Why Geophysics Matters

      GoingUnderground.CoverSmallWhat is geophysics? What do geophysicists do? How does it help us in our everyday lives? And what part does the UK play in this inherently worldwide science?

      Published in February 2014.

      Available online.


      Beyond The Stars: Why Astronomy Matters

      beyondthestars smallThis booklet explores how astronomy impacts our society, and highlights some of the areas where UK talent is leading the field in pushing back the boundaries of our understanding of the universe.

      Published in June 2013.

      Available online.


      A New View of the Universe: Big Science for the Big Society

      Big_ScienceThis booklet outlines the contributions astronomy and space science make to wider society. The Society gratefully acknowledges the support of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC: www.stfc.ac.uk) in the production of this publication.

      Published in July 2010.

      Available online.


      Leaflets for schools

      Cosmology coverThe RAS has produced a series of leaflets on astronomy and geophysics topics which you are free to download.

       

       

      Cosmology: The Origin and Development of the Universe

      Gravity (or download PDF)

      The Moon (or download PDF)

      Life in the Universe (or download PDF)

      Infrared Astronomy (or download PDF)

      Stonehenge (or download PDF)

      Careers for Girls with a Vision: Astronomy & Geophysics (or download PDF)


      Geoscientist, The Observatory: reduced subscriptions

      Geoscientist and Observatory coversRAS members may subscribe to Geoscientist and The Observatory magazine at specially discounted rates.

      Geoscientist is the magazine of The Geological Society.

      The Observatory is an independent magazine, owned and managed by its editors. Published contributions usually take one of the following forms: summaries of meetings (including regular reports of RAS meetings); papers and short contributions; correspondence; and the most comprehensive set of book reviews in astronomy.


      Other publications:

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  • Membership

    Benefits

    If you are a professional astronomer, geophysicist, or similar; a student studying these disciplines; or simply someone with a serious interest in them, we urge you to apply for membership of the RAS. Benefits include access to grants; free room hire; free use of the RAS joblist; online access to the Society's journals plus a copy of the the full colour Astronomy & Geophysics; reduced membership rates for other societies; discounts on selected books, journals and attractions; and free attendance at all RAS scientific meetings in Burlington House. More


    Fees

    Subscriptions begin at as little as £1 for students. More


    How to join

    Download an application form. More


    Friends of the RAS

    There is an alternative to joining the RAS as a Fellow: become a Friend of the RAS and enjoy benefits such as Friends-only lectures; invitations to social events and meetings in Burlington House; use of the Society's historic library; and escorted visits to observatories and other places of interest. More

     

    Current Fellows

    If you need to update personal details, or obtain obtain online access to the society's journals, please contact the Membership Secretary.

     

    Please note that by subscribing to the RAS you are signing up to the Society's Code of Conduct.

    About RAS Fellows

    Members of the Society are styled 'Fellows' and may use the honorific postnomen 'FRAS'. Fellowship is open to any person over the age of 18 whose application is acceptable to the Society. Around half the Fellowship consists of PhD-level professional scientists; a quarter are postgraduate researchers or retired scientists; and the remainder are amateur scientists and undergraduates. About a third of Fellows are based outside the UK.

    RAS logo

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    • How to join

      There are two routes to becoming a Fellow of the RAS:

      • Route 1 - If you know a current Fellow personally, you may ask them to nominate you. University-based applicants (particularly students) may be able to approach a local Point of Contact. pdfRoute 1 application form.
      • Route 2 - If not, you can apply directly to the Council of the RAS, who usually refer the application to the Membership Committee. pdfRoute 2 application form. Please note you will need to obtain a reference from a professional person that knows you and knows about your involvement with astronomy/ geophysics (see information for applicants below). The reference form appears in the download of the route 2 application form. We will be unable to forward your application to the membership committee for review without the reference.

      Further pdfinformation for applicants is available, including guidance on who can apply and which route to take.

       

      The following is general guidance only. Its purpose is to assist

      • Potential applicants
      • Current Fellows who are considering whether to support an application by someone they know personally
      • The Membership Committee when it makes recommendations to Council about applications made via Route 2.

       

      All elections are at the discretion of Council. Meeting these criteria does not automatically guarantee admission to Fellowship.

      Most successful applicants will come under one or more of these categories:

      • Students enrolled on a full or part time undergraduate or post-graduate course related to astronomy or geophysics, which leads to a formal qualification.
      • People with a professional interest in astronomy, geophysics or a related science, holding a relevant professional qualification (e.g. degree) and/or currently or formerly engaged in work (whether paid or not) related to astronomy or geophysics (e.g. research, industry, teaching, media), which requires a professional qualification or experience.
      • Amateurs who have demonstrated a strong commitment to astronomy or geophysics, for example through membership of another major society and/or practical achievements and/or formal study.
      • Other professionals and supporters who may not meet any other criterion but who serve (or have served) the wider interests of the Society, and/or astronomy and geophysics in general, and are committed to furthering the aims of the Society.

       

      Successful applicants are expected to adhere to the Charter and Bye-laws of the Society and to the docuniversal ethical code for scientists.

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    • Benefits
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  • Awards and Grants

    Awards, Medals and Prizes

    The Society presents several awards, medals and prizes as part of its remit to support and encourage scientists working in the fields of astronomy and geophysics. Some are aimed at young scientists, while others recognise many years of dedicated service to our sciences. Here you can find details of the various honours, lists of previous winners, and nomination forms. More

     

    Fellowships

    The Society supports a number of Fellowships, including the Sir Norman Lockyer Fellowship (to enable an outstanding research worker to conduct a self-directed programme of research in any astronomical topic), RAS Research Fellowships (to provide support for early career research astronomers and geophysicists) and Daphne Jackson Fellowships (from The Daphne Jackson Trust, flexible, part-time fellowships to assist talented scientists into a career following a break of at least two years). More

     

    Grants for Studies in Astronomy and Geophysics

    The RAS awards grants in support of studies in astronomy and geophysics. Applications are assessed on a competitive basis, and successful proposals receive awards drawn from the Society's Research and Grants Funds. Here you can find details of the various grants available, previous grants awarded, and application forms. More

    Legacies

    J Zarnecki thumbMuch of the Society's activities – particularly awards and grants – are only possible thanks to legacy donations from Fellows. Here you'll find an invitation to help the Society from the President, Professor John Zarnecki, plus details of how you can amend your will.

    More

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    • Awards, Medals and Prizes

      The Society bestows several honours, in the form of Medals, Prizes, Honorary Fellowships and Lectureships. See below for the lists of Awards in Astronomy, Awards in Geophysics and Awards in Instrumentation; records of previous Award winners are also available.

       

      How to nominate for an Award

      Anyone can make an Award nomination. With the exception of Thesis Prizes and the Undergraduate Prize, it is not necessary to be a Fellow of the Society. When making a nomination, please include all information requested, and address the criteria of the Award in your nomination statement. All nominations are made in strict confidence; nominees should not be informed of submissions in order to avoid unnecessary disappointment.

       

      Nominations should use the forms links below and be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . If you submit your nomination in PDF format, please do not lock this file.

       

      Closing dates:

      Astronomy, Geophysics & Instrumentation Thesis Prizes: 31 January for theses submitted the previous year

      Undergraduate prize in Instrumentation: 31 May 

      Patrick Moore Medal and Annie Maunder Medal: Last Friday in September for the following year's award

      All other awards: 31 July for the next year's awards

       

      How Awards are made

      The Council sets up from among the Fellows two Awards Committees to advise on the merits of candidates nominated for Awards. The recommendations of the Awards Committees are then presented to Council for their approval.

       

      In some cases, where nominees are felt to be very deserving candidates but nevertheless miss out on an award, the nominations may be rolled over to the next awards round, for a maximum of three rounds. If a nomination rolls over, the person who made the nomination will be informed. They will be asked to refresh the nomination material for the next round if appropriate, which is particularly important in the case of early-career awards.

       

      The Awards Committees make their decisions on recommendations in strict confidence, and therefore it is inappropriate to provide feedback to unsuccessful candidates.

       

      The remit of the 'A' Awards Committee is astronomy and astrophysics, broadly defined, and including cosmology, astroparticle physics, astrobiology and astrochemistry.


      The remit of the 'G' Awards Committee is geophysics, solar physics, solar-terrestrial physics, and planetary and meteoritic sciences.

       

      Exceptionally, the Patrick Moore Medal is considered by a different panel chosen from Fellows with a particular interest in and connection to education.

       

      Queries should be addressed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

       


      Astronomy Awards

       

      The Gold Medal (A)

      The Society's highest honour. More information and to nominate

       

      The Eddington Medal

      Awarded for single investigations of outstanding merit in theoretical astrophysics. More information and to nominate


      The Herschel Medal

      Awarded for single investigations of outstanding merit in observational astrophysics. More information and to nominate

       

      The Jackson-Gwilt Medal

      Awarded for single investigations of outstanding merit in Invention, improvement, or development of astronomical instrumentation or techniques. More information and to nominate

       

      The History of Astronomy or Geophysics Medal (new)

      Awarded for outstanding achievement in research into the history of astronomy or geophysics.

      More information and to nominate

       

      The Patrick Moore Medal

      Awarded annually, for a particularly noteworthy contribution to teaching astronomy or geophysics at secondary level. More information and to nominate

       

      The Annie Maunder Medal (new)

      Awarded annually, for an outstanding contribution to outreach and public engagement for astronomy or geophysics. More information and to nominate

       

      The Fowler Award (A)

      Awarded to individuals who have made a particularly noteworthy contribution to astronomy or geophysics at an early stage of their research career. In nomal circumstances, nominees should be within 10 years (excluding long or short career breaks) of passing their viva. More information and to nominate

       

      The Winton Capital Award (A)

      Funded  by the Winton Capital Investment House in recognition of the skills provided to the financial services sector by trained astronomers and geophysicists, the Winton Capital awards are for research by a Post Doctoral Fellow in a UK institution in astronomy or geophysics whose career has shown the most promising development. In nomal circumstances, nominees should be within 5 years (excluding long or short career breaks) of passing their viva. More information and to nominate

       

      The Group Award (A)

      Awarded for outstanding achievement by large consortia. More information and to nominate

       

      The Service Award (A)

      Awarded to individuals who, through outstanding or exceptional work, have promoted, facilitated or encouraged the science of astronomy and developed their role nationally or internationally. More information and to nominate

       

      George Darwin Lectureship
      A lecture given annually by a distinguished speaker on a suitable topic in astronomy. More information and to nominate


      Gerald Whitrow Lectureship
      A lecture given every two years by a distinguished speaker on a topic in cosmology (including its philosophy). More information and to nominate


      Honorary Fellowships (A)
      Honorary Fellowships may be awarded to any person normally resident outside the UK, eminent in the fields of astronomy or geophysics. Honorary Fellowship is typically awarded for distinguished leadership in a scientific or educational institute or department, observatory or laboratory; outstanding services to a national or international scientific organisation or facility; exceptionally important work in editing scientific publications; influential work in education and public outreach in the relevant sciences;
      or especially outstanding distinguished work in the history of these sciences. More information and to nominate

       

      Michael Penston Thesis Prize
      Awarded annually for the best doctoral thesis in astronomy or astrophysics. More information and to nominate


      National Honours
      Anyone can nominate a candidate for a National Honour to the Ceremonial Secretariat at the Cabinet Office. However, in appropriate cases the RAS will be prepared to add its weight to a candidature by making the nomination in the name of the Society. It will do this where the proposed candidate is pre-eminent in his or her field of astronomy or geophysics through research, teaching or service to the scientific community. More information



      Geophysics Awards

       

      The Gold Medal (G)

      The Society's highest honour. More information and to nominate

       

      The Chapman Medal

      Awarded for single investigations of outstanding merit in the science of the Sun, space and planetary environments or solar-terrestrial physics. More information and to nominate


      The Price Medal

      Awarded for single investigations of outstanding merit into formation and composition of the Earth and/or planets (e.g. seismology, tectonics, geodesy, geomagnetism, solar system dynamics, meteoritics).. More information and to nominate


      The History of Astronomy or Geophysics Medal (new)

      Awarded for outstanding achievement in research into the history of astronomy or geophysics.

      More information and to nominate

       

      The Patrick Moore Medal

      Available for award annually, for a particularly noteworthy contribution to teaching astronomy or geophysics at secondary level. More information and to nominate

       

      The Annie Maunder Medal (new)

      Awarded annually, for an outstanding contribution to outreach and public engagement for astronomy or geophysics. More information and to nominate

       

      The Fowler Award (G)

      Awarded to individuals who have made a particularly noteworthy contribution to astronomy or geophysics at an early stage of their research career. In nomal circumstances, nominees should be within 10 years (excluding long or short career breaks) of passing their viva. More information and to nominate


      The Winton Capital Award (G)

      Funded  by the Winton Capital Investment House in recognition of the skills provided to the financial services sector by trained astronomers and geophysicists, the Winton Capital awards are for research by a Post Doctoral Fellow in a UK institution in astronomy or geophysics whose career has shown the most promising development. In nomal circumstances, nominees should be within 5 years (excluding long or short career breaks) of passing their viva. More information and to nominate

       

      The Group Award (G)

      Awarded for outstanding achievement by large consortia. More information and to nominate

       

      The Service Award (G)

      Awarded to individuals who, through outstanding or exceptional work, have promoted, facilitated or encouraged the science of geophysics and developed their role nationally or internationally. More information and to nominate

       

      Harold Jeffreys Lectureship
      A lecture given annually by a distinguished speaker on a suitable topic in geophysics, covering topics concerning the interior structure, formation and composition of the Earth and/or planets (e.g. seismology, tectonics, geodesy, geomagnetism, solar system dynamics, meteoritics). More information and to nominate


      James Dungey Lectureship
      A lecture given annually by a distinguished speaker on a suitable topic in geophysics (including solar physics, solar-terrestrial physics or planetary sciences). More information and to nominate

       

      Honorary Fellowships (G)
      Honorary Fellowships may be awarded to any person normally resident outside the UK, eminent in the fields of astronomy or geophysics. Honorary Fellowship is typically awarded for distinguished leadership in a scientific or educational institute or department, observatory or laboratory; outstanding services to a national or international scientific organisation or facility; exceptionally important work in editing scientific publications; influential work in education and public outreach in the relevant sciences;
      or especially outstanding distinguished work in the history of these sciences. More information and to nominate

       

      Keith Runcorn Thesis Prize
      Awarded annually for the best doctoral thesis in geophysics, including exploration geophysics, physics of the Earth's atmosphere, ionosphere or magnetosphere, planetary physics, solar physics and solid-Earth geophysics. More information and to nominate

       

      National Honours
      Anyone can nominate a candidate for a National Honour to the Ceremonial Secretariat at the Cabinet Office. However, in appropriate cases the RAS will be prepared to add its weight to a candidature by making the nomination in the name of the Society. It will do this where the proposed candidate is pre-eminent in his or her field of astronomy or geophysics through research, teaching or service to the scientific community. More information

       

       


      Instrumentation Awards

       

      The Jackson-Gwilt Medal

      Awarded for single investigations of outstanding merit in either:

        • Invention, improvement, or development of astronomical instrumentation or techniques or for achievement in observational astronomy 

      More information and to nominate

       

      Patricia Tomkins Thesis Prize
      Awarded annually for the best doctoral thesis in instrumentation science for astronomy or geophysics. More information and to nominate

       

      Patricia Tomkins Undergraduate Prize
      Awarded for excellent laboratory work on instrumentation undertaken as part of a course related to astronomy or geophysics. More information and to nominate

       


       

      J Silk

      Prof. J. Silk being presented with the Gold Medal ('A') at the National Astronomy Meeting in Belfast on 3 April 2008 by the President, Prof. Michael Rowan-Robinson.

       

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    • Grants for Studies

      The RAS awards grants in support of studies in astronomy and geophysics. Applications are assessed on a competitive basis, and successful proposals receive awards drawn from the Society's Research and Grants Funds supported by the generosity of our benefactors.

       

      Applications are assessed twice a year; the deadlines for these grants rounds are 15 February and 15 August. Applications received by these deadlines will be reviewed shortly afterwards, and awards announced within two months. If you require a decision before 15 October, you should apply by 15 February, and if you require a decision before 15 April you should apply by 15 August the previous year. Only in exceptional circumstances will applications be considered outside this deadline.

       

      In addition, the RAS:

      Many of the Society's grants are only available thanks to legacies. You may wish to make your own legacy to support the Society's work.

       
      How to apply for a grant from the Research and Grants Fund

       

      Please see Applying for a grant for the application form and detailed instructions.

       

      Benefactors

       

      The Society's Research and Grants Funds are indebted to the following generous benefactors:

      • The C. A. G. Bearpark Trust
      • Mrs Jelley's Bequest
      • The E. W. Brown Trust
      • The Plummer Bequest
      • The A. G. Stillhammer Trust
      • The Victor Nadarov Fund
      • The William McCrea Fund
      • The Hosie Bequest
      • The Patricia Tomkins Foundation

       


       

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    • Fellowships

      The RAS supports a number of research fellowships:

       

      Norman Lockyer Fellowship

      This postdoctoral Fellowship, tenable in the UK, provides support for 3 years to enable an outstanding research worker to conduct a self-directed programme of research in any astronomical topic (including solar system science and planetary science). The Norman Lockyer Fellowship is open to those who hold a doctorate from a recognized institution of higher education at the time of taking up the award. Fellows will normally be 30 years of age or younger on 1 October of the year of appointment. More

       

      RAS Research Fellowships

      These postdoctoral Fellowships, tenable in the UK, provide support for up to 3 years for early career research astronomers and geophysicists. Applications are restricted to candidates who have a recognized PhD (or equivalent) obtained no more than 5 years before the start of their position or who have taken their viva before the application deadline and expect to be awarded the PhD by the time of appointment. More

       

      RAS-Daphne Jackson Fellowship (RASDJF)

      The Daphne Jackson Trust offers flexible, part-time, paid Fellowships, normally for two years, to assist talented scientists into a career following a break of at least two years. Fellows undertake a challenging research project and a retraining programme. Candidates in astronomy and geophysics eligible for the RASDJF should apply via the Daphne Jackson Trust website.

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  • Library

    Library catalogue

    Search the online catalogue of books and journals held in the RAS library More


    Opening times, access & enquiries

    The RAS Library is open 10:00–17:00 Monday to Friday More

     

    About the Library & the archives

    The Royal Astronomical Society has a world-class collection in astronomy and geophysics that is far more comprehensive than the libraries of most universities and research institutions. More


    Treasures of the RAS

    Videos and articles about historically significant items held in the library and archives. More


    Books & journals

    See a list of journals currently received. More


    Images

    Many of the photographs in the archives fall into the portaits and telescopes categories, but there are many of events such as eclipse expeditions, plus many miscellaneous items and 'photographica' from the development of the photographic process. More


    Biographies

    Sources of biographical and portrait information on astronomers. More


    Obituaries

    Obituaries of RAS Fellows and Associates. More


    Information sheets

    A wealth of information on the Library and specific science subjects. More

     

    RAS Library interiorThe RAS Library offers Wi-Fi and computer access alongside its collection of modern and historical publications.
     

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    • Miscellaneous

      LibraryThe Royal Astronomical Society has a world-class collection in astronomy and geophysics that is far more comprehensive than the libraries of most universities and research institutions.

      The Library receives some 300 current periodicals in astronomy and geophysics and has holdings of over 3,000 ceased titles. It contains more than 10,000 books from popular level to conference proceedings and in addition has the second-largest specialist collection of astronomical rare books in Britain (only the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh has more) with over 5,000 items published before 1851. The RAS Library is thus a major resource of considerable value not just to the Society but also to the wider community of astronomers, geophysicists, and historians.

      At a time when academic libraries are under threat, the RAS Library is an increasingly important benefit for Fellows of the Society. The first steps are being taken to introduce wider electronic access. The Book and Journal Catalogue can be searched online. Rare books are not yet included.

      Services such as photocopying, photography, scanning, wi-fi, power outlets for laptops and a microfilm reader are available.

      Books are normally lent only to members of the Society, although they may be made available through the inter-library loan system. Microfilms can be created from books and manuscripts, but this tends to take a long time as few requests are received and the filming is done by an outside firm.

      Finding-aids to facilitate access to these collections, apart from the knowledge of the staff, include catalogues, indexes, and reference material.

      The formal Library Regulations are available for guidance.

       

      Scope

      The Catalogue of the Archives and Manuscripts of the RAS is available on-line, as is a catalogue of the Herschel Archive of papers by William, John and Caroline Herschel. A scanned version of the full Herschel Archive is available for purchase on CD or DVD.

       

      More information

      More pictures of the Library can be seen as part of the virtual tour of Burlington House.

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    • Images

       

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    • Information Sheets
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    • Obituaries
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    • Treasures of the RAS

      The Library and Archives of the Royal Astronomical Society contain books, images and documents significant in the development of scientific thought in astronomy, geophysics and related disciplines. In this series of articles and videos RAS Librarians display some of the gems of the collection.

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  • Education and Outreach
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  • Education and Careers

    CAREERS

    Jobs

     


    EDUCATION

    RAS outreach map

    The RAS maintains a searchable map of national experts for the education and outreach of astronomy, geophysics and planetary science. More

     

    Information for everyone

    General information on astronomy and geophysics, especially in the UK, including fact sheets, how to contact an astronomer, and UK observatories. More

     

    Information for school students

    For pupils there are lists of undergraduate courses and general fact sheets. For teachers there are links to resources and a list of astronomers and geophysicists who will give talks. More

     

    Information for university students

    Advice on undergraduate study, becoming a professional astronomer, postgraduate opportunities, salaries, and part-time and distance-learning astronomy courses. More

     

    Information for teachers

    For pupils there are lists of undergraduate courses and general fact sheets. For teachers there are links to resources and a list of astronomers and geophysicists who will give talks. More

     

    Information for media & researchers

    Contacts for media enquiries and information for researchers. More

     

    Education prizes

    Prizes are available for school teachers, PhD students and undergraduate students. More

     

     

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    • For schools & teachers

       

      Below you'll find various sources of information for pupils and teachers. For pupils there are lists of undergraduate courses and general fact sheets. For teachers there are links to resources and a list of astronomers who will give talks.

       


       

      Solar Eclipse 2015 - resources for schoolseclipse

       

      On Friday 20 March 2015 there was a partial eclipse of the Sun in the UK.

       

      We've written an eclipse booklet that can be viewed electronically or printed off. Check the booklet for tips, information on how to make an eclipse viewer and where to get a free pair of viewers from!

       

      Primary school resources:

      Solar Eclipse role play

      Solar Eclipse newspaper article

       

      Secondary school resources:

      Solar Eclipse worksheet (Year 7-9)

      The maths of a Solar Eclipse (Year 10-11)

       


      Patrick Moore Medal 

       

      The new RAS Patrick Moore Medal will be awarded annually to outstanding teachers of astronomy and/or geophysics. More information including nomination form

       


      Work Experience, Summer Placements and Events

       

      We can offer some work experience places here at the RAS or help you find summer placements at universities around the UK. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. We will also advertise other opportunities here.

       

      Nuffield Research Placements for students in the first year of a post 16 STEM course: http://www.nuffieldresearchplacements.org/

      Social Mobility Foundation work experience placements and support from year 12 onwards: http://www.socialmobility.org.uk/get-involved/students/

       

      Space School UK summer residentials for 13-18 year olds interested in astronomy and space science: http://spaceschool.co.uk/

       

      The Great NE Space Expo 2015 poster advertising the chance to engage with a vast array of businesses that are part of the innovative UK Space Sector and find out what it takes to have a career in an incredibly exciting area of scientific discovery.

       


      Studying astronomy and geophysics

       

      Are you considering astronomy or geophysics as a career, or would you like to study the subjects at a higher level?

      The RAS has a factsheet that will tell you more about becoming a Professional Astronomer, Geophysicist or Planetary Scientist. This includes a list of undergraduate courses by UCAS number.

      You can also download the RAS booklet on 'Careers for Girls with a Vision in Astronomy & Geophysics'

       


      General information on astronomy and geophysics

       

      The RAS has produced a series of leaflets and an e-book on astronomy and geophysics topics.

       

      Cosmology_cover

      Our latest resource (published 2011) is an e-book on Cosmology designed for A level students. This is a basic introduction to the history of the Universe, from the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago to the present day.

      This book is available as an interactive PDF or as a series of web pages.

       

       

      gravity_small.jpgOur Gravity leaflet gives you information about key figures in gravitational science, tells you how gravity affects the Solar System, why we have tides, and the role gravity plays in stellar evolution, galaxies, Black Holes and cosmology.

      Other leaflets can be downloaded in PDF format. Click on the titles to access the following:

       

       


      Database of resources for teaching astronomy, geophysics and planetary science

       

      The best way of finding relevant and useful teaching resources at the current time is by using the STEM eLibrary by ESERO-UK.

      Alternatively try the TES website, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more ideas and resources.

       


      Other teaching resources

       

      • The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) educational resources.
      • Here is a page of links to other resources.
      • Three 2-metre telescopes have time available for use by students: the National Schools Observatory, Faulkes Telescopes and Bradford Robotic Telescope. The Royal Astronomical Society endorses robotic telescopes as an exciting way to give students direct and personal experience of science. The Society commends the Robotic Telescope Project at Bradford University, the Faulkes Telescopes Project at Cardiff University and the National Schools Observatory at Liverpool John Moores University for bringing to classrooms throughout the UK results from first-class telescopes in good astronomical sites on distant mountain tops and for providing soundly-based scientific projects so that teachers can use them for a range of educational needs.

       


      Public talks and workshops for schools

       

      The RAS maintains a list of professional astronomers and geophysicists who are available to give schools talks via its searchable map, allowing you to find facilities, topics and speakers who are close to you. Alternatively email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to see if we can visit you, or you can visit the RAS!

       


      Schools Seismology Project

       

      Detecting the minute vibrations caused by earthquakes that happened thousands of kilometres away with a simple piece of equipment sitting in your own school creates a 'wow' moment for students — and sometimes staff as well. The instruments required to do this are surprisingly simple — and some can even be made by teachers in a school workshop. The project encourages schools to establish a seismic observatory using a simple mechanical seismometer and PC.

       

      For more information have a look at the webpages of the British Geological Survey - Seismometers for use in schools.

       


      Science Council

       

      future_morphThe Science Council careers information site www.futuremorph.org has a lot of information about studying science, technology, engineering and maths.

       

       

       


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    • Education Prizes

      Patrick Moore Medal

      This prize is awarded annually to recognise outstanding school teachers in the fields of astronomy or geophysics. More

       

      Michael Penston Thesis Prize

      This prize is awarded annually for the best UK PhD thesis in astronomy (including astrobiology, astroparticle physics, etc). More

       

      Keith Runcorn Thesis Prize

      This prize is awarded annually for the best UK PhD thesis in geophysics, solar-terrestrial physics, and planetary sciences. More

       

      Patricia Tomkins Thesis Prize

      This prize is awarded annually for the best UK PhD thesis in instrumentation science for astronomy or geophysics. More

       

      Patricia Tomkins Undergraduate Prize

      This prize is awarded annually for excellent laboratory work on instrumentation undertaken by an undergraduate student as part of a course related to astronomy or geophysics. More

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    • 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: http://learnastronomyhq.com/beginners-guide-to-astronomy.html

       


      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?

      log

       


      Links
      • 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.

       


      Articles

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

       


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    • For university students

       

      Introduction

      The RAS has produced notes on studying and working in astronomy and planetary sciences in the UK, including advice on undergraduate study in astronomy, and on becoming a professional astronomer.

      This should be read in conjuction with the RAS review pdfcareers in astronomy in the UK (published 2005).

      This site also lists part-time and distance learning astronomy courses.

       


      Work Experience and Summer Placements

       

      We can offer some work experience places here at the RAS or help you find summer placements at universities around the UK. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. We will also advertise other opportunities here.

       

      Enter the STEM awards for a chance to win £25k! 

       


      Opportunities

      The RAS has linked up with PostgraduateSearch.com, who maintain a comprehensive and updated list of university postgraduate courses (gathered from UCAS) in astronomy and geophysics. The list of available courses is available here.

      The RAS provides an email alert service for jobs in astronomy and geophysics advertised worldwide. The Careers page gives details of how to register and links to other job registers.

      You can also find information on scientific salaries in the UK and USA.

       


      Competitions and prizes

      The RAS Michael Penston Astronomy Prize is awarded annually for the best UK PhD thesis in astronomy (including astrobiology, astroparticle physics, etc). Sponsored by Wiley-Blackwell.

      The RAS Keith Runcorn Prize is awarded annually for the best UK PhD thesis in geophysics, solar-terrestrial physics, and planetary sciences. Sponsored by Wiley-Blackwell.

      The annual deadline for thesis prize nominations is 31 January. Click to see a list of previous winners.

       


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    • Educational resources


      Educational Resources database

      Outreach Resources

       

      The Royal Astronomical Society has requested information from Institutions, Colleges, Schools and Individuals who are willing to provide outreach facilities to promote and encourage an interest in Astronomy and Geophysics.  As part of this, the RAS has produced a searchable map to find those located within a specific geographic area.

      Please click here to use this new facility.

       

      The best way of finding relevant and useful teaching resources at the current time is by using the STEM eLibrary by ESERO-UK.

      Alternatively try the TES website, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more ideas and resources.

       

      Any comments…

      If you wish to have alterations or additions to our resource map, or make any other constructive suggestions, please contact the Education & Outreach officer.

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

      Please report any dead links to the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

       

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    • Miscellaneous
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    • RAS@200

      RAS200LogoIn 2020 the Royal Astronomical Society will be 200 years old.

      To celebrate our bicentennial, the Society is establishing an Outreach and Engagement Fund of £1,000,000 to support astronomy and geophysics projects that create a real buzz about science – understanding, discussion and dialogue – in diverse sections of the community.

      If you're involved with a local or national organisation that might be able to help, we'd like to hear from you, particularly if you can add to the RAS fund, so that we can make a greater and more lasting impact.

       

      school geophysHere are some important dates for the 2nd Tranche:

       RAS 2nd Tranche Timetable

      Announcement at RAS AGM  13th May 2016
      London Stakeholder Meeting 13th July 2016
      Town Hall Meetings September - December 2016
      Outline Proposals Open 10th October 2016
      Outline Proposals Close 9th December 2016
      1st Grants Panel 8th February 2017
      Deadline for Full Proposals 7th April 2017
      2nd Grants Panel 19th April 2017

       

      To find out how the previous successful applicants are getting on, read this year's AGM Report.


       

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  • British Geophysical Association
    This section includes all information relevant to British Geophysical Association
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  • News and Press

    This page shows the latest news from or about the RAS. The news archive holds older stories.


    For more information, please contact the Press Officer.


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  • Frontpage
    Frontpage Tips, Images and Information
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    • Did You Know?

       

       

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    • Our Beautiful Universe

      Images used to give a rolling set of pictures for the frontpage. These are also displayed (most recent first) under Education & Careers > Our Beautiful Universe.

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  • RAS Policy

    Badge  words - for webThe RAS engages with government, funding agencies, international organisations and other policy makers through its policy activities. It works to advance the sciences of astronomy and geophysics, through the formulation of coherent and progressive science policy and governance.

    We are interested in the views of all our Fellows on these topics, and periodically contact our members to solicit their input on policy issues. If you wish to contribute to this effort, please contact the Deputy Executive Director.

     

    Science Policy

    RAS submissions to governments and funding bodies, evidence for inquiries, consultation documents, and statements of joint positions with related organisations. More

     

    Astronomy Forum

    The RAS hosts and facilitates the Astronomy Forum, an independent group which meets to represent the views of the UK professional astronomy community to government and funding agencies. More

     

    Geophysics Forums

    The RAS also hosts two independent Geophysics Forums, covering Solid Earth and External branches of geophysics, which meet to represent the views of the UK geophysics community. More

     

    Diversity, Equality and Inclusion policy

    The RAS is committed to creating an environment where diversity is celebrated and everyone is treated fairly, regardless of gender, disability, ethnic origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation, marital status, age, or nationality.

     

    The Society's Diversity, Equality and Inclusion policy contains information on equal opportunity and harassment and the standards that Fellows, staff and visitors to the RAS are expected to maintain.

     

    Fellows of the RAS are also expected to adhere to the Society's Code of Conduct.

     

     

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    • 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.

      RAS submissions and policy reports (since 2003) are available under the various topics shown on this page.

       


       

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    • Astronomy Forum

      The Astronomy Forum is an independent, authoritative group drawn from the community to discuss issues and, as appropriate, present its views to STFC, BIS and other bodies. Forum members are drawn from professors at UK universities and try to represent the views of all astronomers in their respective institutions.

      The Forum complements the activities of the RAS, who arrange and host the meetings, but is independent of the Society. It largely replaces the former Standing Conference of Astronomy Professors.

      Meetings are held under a variant of the Chatham House Rule, whereby those giving presentations are identified, but those asking questions are not. This is to encourage a frank exchange of views. The RAS also facillitates equivalent Geophysics Forums.

      The inaugural meeting of the Astronomy Forum was held at the RAS on 21 January 2009. Meetings are scheduled irregularly as issues arise, usually once or twice a year.

      Speakers are encouraged, but not required, to make their presentations available online after the meeting. Notes and presentations for recent meetings are available on this page.

       


       

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    • Geophysics Forums

      The two Geophysics Forums are independent, authoritative groups drawn from the UK research community to discuss issues and present their views to governing and funding bodies.

      The two Geophysics Forums are independent, authoritative groups drawn from the UK research community to discuss issues and present their views to governing and funding bodies.

      Forum members are drawn from professors at UK universities and try to represent the views of all geophysicists in their respective institutions. The Forums complement the activities of the RAS, who arrange and host the meetings, but are independent of the Society. They aim to build on the success of the Astronomy Forum.

      The two forums are split between subject areas, with one forum for research within the surface of the Earth and one for outside:

      • The External Geophysics Forum covers atmospheric physics, solar-terrestrial physics, magnetospheres etc.
      • The Solid Earth Geophysics Forum covers seismology, geophysical fluid dynamics, geodesy etc.

      The inaugural meetings of both Geophysics Forums were held in 2013. Minutes and presentations from both sets of meetings are available on this page.

       


       

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  • Friends of the RAS
    Welcome to the Friends of the RAS

     

     

    Become a Friend of the RAS and enjoy:

    • Friends-only lectures
    • Invitations to social events and meetings in Burlington House
    • Use of the Society's historic library in Burlington House
    • Escorted visits to observatories and other places of interest
    • Discounted subscription to ‘Astronomy & Geophysics’ magazine
    • The RAS Diary, which contains interesting and useful astronomical data

     

    Membership of the Friends of the RAS is £40 for single membership or £50 for membership for two people at the same address.

     

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