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The Royal Astronomical Society, founded 1820, is the voice of the UK’s astronomical and geophysical communities. The RAS welcomes as members not only professional researchers, but also students, keen amateurs, people working in education and the media, and others who share the aims of the Society. Members can take advantage of a range of facilities and privileges, and are involved in shaping the Society’s activities. Drawing on such a wide cross-section of individuals with a common interest in astronomy or geophysics increases the RAS’s effectiveness as a forum for its members and strengthens its role in the scientific life of the UK.