Search form

AAS Statement on the Impact of Federal Agency Travel Restrictions on Scientific Conferences

The American Astronomical Society and its six divisions (Planetary Science, High Energy Astrophysics, Solar Physics, Dynamical Astronomy, Historical Astronomy, and Laboratory Astrophysics) are deeply concerned about the impact of the Administration’s new conference travel restrictions on the scientific productivity and careers of researchers who are Federal employees and contractors.

American Astronomers Call on Congress to Support Investments in Research & Development

Fifteen members of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) traveled to Washington, DC to express the need for sustained and predictable federal funding of research and development (R&D) programs — including NASA, NSF, and the Department of Energy — which are critically important to American economic growth.

President's Column

From close-up pictures of water-sculpted pebbles on Mars, to the detection of galaxies at the boundary of the Dark Ages, discoveries in our field continue to advance our understanding of the Universe and to fascinate legions of the public who support our inquiry. Unfortunately, we do not see similar progress in the political sphere, even now that the consequences have been spelled out of allowing budget sequestration to hit every government agency in January.

Where does one find information about careers in astronomy and other sciences?

Mon, 2012-08-20 16:40 -- Rick.Fienberg

The AAS career brochure, A New Universe to Explore, Careers in Astronomy, is available online and as a booklet (contact the Society to request copies). This guide covers all of the most popularly asked questions like what astronomers do, what kind of astronomers are there, how easy is it to get a job, how much do astronomers get paid etc.

I want to be an astronomer: how do I find colleges? how do I find scholarships?

Mon, 2012-08-20 16:19 -- Rick.Fienberg

The web makes looking for colleges and universities easier than it used to be -- most institutions (and astronomy and physics departments) have comprehensive web pages. In addition there are websites that have already gathered a lot of this information. Two sources of information on colleges, with links to sites that list scholarships, grants, and other financial aid, are U.S. College Search and MatchCollege, which list thousands of U.S.

Does the AAS offer any astronomy scholarships?

Mon, 2012-08-20 16:19 -- Rick.Fienberg

At this time, the American Astronomical Society offers no scholarships. However, we do award the Bok Prize in Astronomy annually to the top two astronomy science fair projects in the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). First prize is US $5000, second prize is US $3000. You may write to Science Service, Inc., 1719 N Street, NW, Washington DC 20036, to request a copy of the "Student Handbook for Precollege Science and Engineering Projects", and for information on "Intel ISEF participation."

What do I study in college?

Mon, 2012-08-20 16:18 -- Rick.Fienberg

Attend a school with a good physics or astronomy department and be prepared to work hard! Although it is hard to become an astronomer, most who get graduate degrees in the field are employed (fewer than 2% are unemployed) and most feel that their graduate education prepared them well for their current job.

What colleges are the best?

Mon, 2012-08-20 16:17 -- Rick.Fienberg

There is no easy answer to your question as there isn't a one-size-fits-all program. Each department, and each school, offers different programs, opportunities and environments. You will benefit from spending some time researching colleges and universities; they have web pages describing their programs, the schools and so forth. You may wish to contact the department chair for additional information on the schools you are interested. The AAS maintains a list of programs that offer Astronomy related degrees.

I need to interview an astronomer.

Mon, 2012-08-20 16:16 -- Rick.Fienberg

The AAS does not give out names of astronomers. However, there's probably an astronomer near you. Check with your local community college, or four-year college or university, planetarium or science museum. Be sure to provide your name, school, and a specific description about your project. If you're working with time constraints some online interviews with astronomers are available.

I'm doing an astronomy project and I need help.

Mon, 2012-08-20 16:16 -- Rick.Fienberg

The AAS is not a reference library, however when we receive inquiries we will do our best to steer you toward reasonable sources of reliable information. We do not have regular staff dedicated to this, so do not rely on an immediate response. Such queries should be directed to There are many sources for school projects. Start with your school or local community library.


Subscribe to American Astronomical Society RSS