About the AAS

The American Astronomical Society is a major international organization of professional astronomers, astronomy educators, and amateur astronomers.

The AAS was established in 1899 and is based in Washington, DC. Our membership of about 8,200 individuals also includes physicists, mathematicians, geologists, engineers, and others whose research and educational interests lie within the broad spectrum of subjects now comprising the astronomical sciences.

Mission and Vision

The mission of the AAS is to enhance and share humanity's scientific understanding of the universe as a diverse and inclusive astronomical community.

Train & Mentor
"One thing that is really amazing about the American Astronomical Society is that we have kept our journals on the cutting edge."
Meg Urry
Meg Urry
AAS Past President (2014-2016)
"At (AAS) meetings, we present the latest results, the hottest new research — what’s happening in the universe."
Heidi B. Hammel
Executive Vice President, AURA
"If there are issues that affect many fields of science, then the different professional societies will work together to communicate the importance of science…to Congress or the public."
Heidi B. Hammel
Executive Vice President, AURA
"We have citizen astronomers that go through the gigabytes, the terabytes, the petabytes of data that we have collected, and they make discoveries — they find new nebula, they find new stars, they find new galaxies."
Adam Burgasser, Professor, Univ. of California, San Diego
Adam Burgasser
Professor, Univ. of California, San Diego
"You want to get the best brains, the best talent for whatever you’re looking for, and that’s why I think diversity is really important in our field."
Pat Knezek, Deputy Director, NSF-AST
Pat Knezek
Deputy Director, NSF-AST


The AAS seeks to increase public support for scientific research, improve science education at all levels, attract young people to careers in science and technology, and make evident the connections between science, technology, and prosperity.


The American Astronomical Society was established in 1899 to organize networks of observatories in cooperative research programs and provide the means by which both experienced and young astronomers could share methods and knowledge.

AAS History