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. The RAS:

  • Organizes scientific meetings in Burlington House, its London HQ, and throughout the country
  • Publishes international research and review journals
  • Recognizes outstanding achievements by the award of medals and prizes
  • Maintains an extensive library
  • Supports education through grants and outreach activities
  • Represents UK astronomy nationally and internationally


Its more than 4,000 members (Fellows), a quarter based overseas, consists of primarily professional astronomers and geophysicists, with a significant number of students, advanced amateur astronomers, as well as historians of astronomy and geophysics, and others with an interest in the geo- and astro-sciences. Its central London premises are available for use by its Fellows and others. 

Fellowship is open to any person over the age of 18 whose application is acceptable to the Society.

Find details of benefits, fees and how to join here.

Fine more information regarding our Friends of the RAS membership and how to join here.

Promoting science

The Royal Astronomical Society promotes the study of its sciences by means of:

Annual Report

Each year the Council of the RAS produces an Annual Report, which summarises the society's activity during the previous calendar year. The report is presented to the next Annual General Meeting, which is held in May of the following year. It is also submitted to the Charity Commission, where it is referred to as the Trustees' Report.

Since 2005 the reports have been made available on the RAS website; older reports are available in paper form in the RAS Library archives. The full online archive is below.