American Astronomical Society

American Astronomical Society

The American Astronomical Society is an American society of professional astronomers and other interested individuals, headquartered in Washington, DC. The primary objective of the AAS is to promote the advancement of astronomy and closely related branches of science, while the secondary purpose includes enhancing astronomy education and providing a political voice for its members through lobbying and grassroots activities. It currently has a mission of enhancing and sharing humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe.

The AAS is founded in 1899, with an initial membership of 114, but has now grown to over 7000 members. There are 6 divisions which include:

  • The Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) supports planetology and exploration of the Solar System.
  • The Division on Dynamical Astronomy (DDA) supports research on the dynamics of astronomical systems from the Solar System to superclusters of galaxies on cosmological scales.
  • The High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) supports knowledge about high energy events, particles, quanta, relativistic gravitational fields, and related phenomena in the astrophysical universe.
  • The Historical Astronomy Division (HAD) supports topics relevant to the history of astronomy as a field, and research using historical astronomical records to solve current problems in astronomy.
  • The Solar Physics Division (SPD) supports solar physics, and its interactions with the Solar System and Earth.
  • The Laboratory Astrophysics Division (LAD) to advance humanity’s understanding of the Universe through the promotion of fundamental theoretical and experimental research into the underlying processes that drive the Universe.

The AAS is responsible for publishing several publications including:

  • Astronomical Journal
  • Astronomy Education Review
  • The Astrophysical Journal
  • Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society
  • Icarus
  • Research Notes of the AAS 
  • Sky & Telescope Magazine

They do offer several prizes including:

  • The Henry Norris Russell Lectureship, for lifetime achievement in astronomy
  • The Newton Lacy Pierce Prize in Astronomy, for outstanding early career in observational astronomy
  • The Helen B. Warner Prize for Astronomy, for outstanding early career in theoretical astronomy
  • The Beatrice M. Tinsley Prize, for a creative or innovating contribution to astronomy
  • The Joseph Weber Award, for a significant advance in astronomical instrumentation
  • The Dannie Heineman Prize for Astrophysics, for outstanding work in astrophysics
  • The George Van Biesbroeck Prize, for outstanding service to astronomy
  • The Annie J. Cannon Award in Astronomy, for outstanding early career by a female astronomer
  • The Chambliss Astronomical Writing Award for astronomy writing for an academic audience
  • The Chambliss Astronomy Achievement Student Award for exemplary research by undergraduate and graduate students
  • The Chambliss Amateur Achievement Award for exemplary research by an amateur astronomer
  • The AAS Education Prize for outstanding contributions to astronomy education (formerly called the Annenberg Foundation Award)

Similar prizes are awarded by AAS divisions. These include:

  • The Gerard P. Kuiper Prize (DPS), for lifetime achievement in planetary science
  • The Harold C. Urey Prize (DPS), for outstanding early career in planetary science
  • The Harold Masursky Meritorious Service Award (DPS), for outstanding service to planetary science
  • The Brouwer Award (DDA), for lifetime achievement in dynamical astronomy
  • The Bruno Rossi Prize (HEAD), for a significant recent contribution to high-energy astrophysics
  • The LeRoy E. Doggett Prize (HAD), for work in the history of astronomy
  • The George Ellery Hale Prize (SPD), for lifetime achievement in solar astronomy
  • The Karen Harvey Prize (SPD), for outstanding early career in solar astronomy

They can be found at their website of

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