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The AAS Board of Trustees may elect any astronomer of distinction who is not resident in North America as an honorary member. This is a prestigious honor for international astronomers.

Nominations for honorary membership may be submitted at any time throughout the year to the AAS Secretary and should be signed by no fewer than five members of the Society.

The list of honorary members elected since the Society was founded is provided below. It is presently incomplete; we are scouring the Society's historical documentation to look for any honorary members we may have overlooked. If you know of any honorary member who is not on this list, please send an email with his or her name and year of election (if known) to


Honorary Member Year of Election
João Steiner 2018
Françoise Combes 2017
Beatriz Barbuy 2016
Jocelyn Bell Burnell 2015
Michel G. E. Mayor 2015
Henny J.G.L.M. Lamers 2014
Ewine van Dishoeck 2013
Yasuo Tanaka* 2012
Malcolm Longair 2011
Sir Martin J. Rees 2006
María Teresa Ruiz 2004
Catherine Cesarsky 2003
Donald Lynden-Bell* 2001
Rashid Sunyaev 1997
Lodewijk Woltjer 1994
Adriaan Blaauw* 1985
Michael J. Seaton* 1983
Manali Kallat Vainu Bappu* 1982
Bengt Strömgren* 1973
O. Heckman* 1970
Jan H. Oort* 1970
P. Swings* 1970
Viktor A. Ambartsumian* N/A
Thomas G. Cowling* N/A
Iosif S. Shklovsky* N/A
Willem de Sitter* 1931
Henri-Alexandre Deslandres* 1928
Max Wolf* 1927
Sir Frank Watson Dyson* 1921
Jacobus Cornelius Kapteyn* 1916
Oskar Backlund* 1915
Arthur Auwers* 1914
Sir David Gill* 1912