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Did You Know?

You can have job vacancies emailed to you

The RAS JobsList service provides email alerts for new posts for jobseekers, together with an online archive of previous mailings. For advertisers, it provides a free, moderated distribution service. Anyone can post or subscribe to the list.

Find out more here.

You can become a Friend of the RAS

There is an alternative to joining the Royal Astronomical Society as a Fellow: become a Friend of the RAS and enjoy benefits such as free priority seat reservation at our popular lunch-time 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.

Find out more here.

You can obtain images from the RAS collections

The Library holds many photographs, mainly of people and telescopes, but there are many of events such as eclipse expeditions.

Some images are available online and may be free for academic use.

Find out more here.

The Library houses historic astronomy books

The Society has the largest specialist collection of astronomical rare books in England – with about 4,000 items published before 1851.

They include many of the ‘standard’ works from the development of astronomy from the late Middle Ages and a large number of less well known books and tracts on events such as apparitions of comets.

Although the emphasis is on astronomy, works are also held in related fields such as mathematics, surveying, navigation, etc.

For more details, please contact the Librarian.

You can subscribe to a monthly events bulletin

Every month during the RAS meetings season (October–May), and intermittently at other times, a short e-bulletin is issued giving details of upcoming meetings, information on grant or awards availabilities, Council vacancies, etc.

Anyone (whether RAS Fellows or not) can subscribe to these e-bulletins.

Find out more here.

You may be eligible for a grant

If you are a member of the Society, you may be eligible for a grant.

Applications should be for support of research or study in any areas of astronomy and geophysics, including, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Study or research projects
  • Educational projects
  • Activities to do with the history of astronomy and geophysics
  • Purchase of temporary help for a particular task
  • Support of the applicant or others for a research or educational purpose, including research overseas (where some contribution to education in the destination country may be required)
  • Purchase of instruments
  • Support of meetings
  • Travel to conferences or expeditions
  • Support of the Norman Lockyer Observatory
  • Calculations of accurate orbits in the solar system
  • Study of sunspots.

Find out more about the wide range of grants available form the RAS here.

Students can win cash prizes

The RAS runs two annual competitions for theses, both with a prize of £1000.

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

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

Find out more here.

You can book school talks for free

The RAS maintains a list of scientists who are willing to give talks in schools free of charge (except for expenses).

In addition to the talks listed, many speakers may also be prepared to talk about more general topics to younger children, or to offer advice on degree courses in astronomy and related careers.

Find out more here.

Students can join the RAS for £1

Full-time students may join the Society with a first year's contribution of only £1 when they agree to pay by direct debit or by continuous credit-card payment.

Find out more about the benefits of membership and how to join, here.

The RAS has a database of 'kite-marked' teaching resources

This searchable database is designed to help teachers, both secondary and primary, identify useful, free resources to support their teaching of astronomical and geophysical topics.

All the resources listed have been checked for scientific accuracy by Fellows of the RAS and for effectiveness in the classroom by practising science teachers.

The resources have been linked to the latest UK curricula and teaching specifications, covering the Key Stage 2 and 3 National Curricula for Science, GCSE Science, GCSE Astronomy, AS and A2 Physics as well as Scottish Access, Standard and Highers.

Find out more here.

You can hire rooms in Burlington House

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

The RAS occupies premises in the courtyard of Burlington House along with the Royal Academy of Arts and four leading learned societies.

Following a major refurbishment in 2007 the Lecture Theatre and Council Room are available for hire for scientific, professional, educational and cultural activities.

Find out more here.