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Astronomy: Professional Societies & Web Sites

This guide will help you get started with your research in astronomy.

American Astronomical Society (AAS)

The American Astronomical Society (AAS) established in 1899 and based in Washington, DC, is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. Its membership of about 7,000 individuals also includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers, and others whose research and educational interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects comprising contemporary astronomy. The mission of the AAS is to enhance and share humanity’s scientific understanding of the universe.

Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP)

For more than 100 years, the Astronomical Society of the Pacific ( ASP), a nonprofit astronomy organization headquartered in San Francisco, has inspired professionals, researchers, educators, amateurs, and armchair astronomers to look up and wonder about our place in the universe, and about what the universe can teach and tell us.

International Astronomical Union (IAU)

  IAU Approves 227 Star Names (released 24 Nov. 2016)

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) was founded in 1919. Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects through international cooperation.

Astronomy Web Sites

Sigma Pi Sigma

Sigma Pi Sigma exists to honor outstanding scholarship in physics, to encourage interest in physics among students at all levels, to promote an attitude of service, and to provide a fellowship of persons who have excelled in physics. Election is a lifelong membership and includes a once-year complimentary membership in the Society of Physics Students (SPS).

Sigma Pi Sigma is an organization of the American Institute of Physics, and a member of the Association of College Honor Societies. Founded in 1921, there are more than 90,000 historical members. 

Society of Physics Students

The Society of Physics Students (SPS) is a professional association explicitly designed for students. Membership, through collegiate chapters, is open to anyone interested in physics. The only requirement for membership is that you be interested in physics. Besides physics majors, our members include majors in chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, mathematics, medicine, and other fields.