World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society

Article Id: WHEBN0000860391
Reproduction Date:

Title: Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Royal Astronomical Society, Savilian Professor of Astronomy, Harry Hemley Plaskett, Chaim L. Pekeris, Peter Goldreich
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society

Gold Medal
The Gold Medal award of Asaph Hall
Awarded for for achievements in geophysics, solar physics, solar-terrestrial physics, planetary sciences, astronomy, cosmology, astroparticle physics, and cosmochemistry
Country United Kingdom
Presented by Royal Astronomical Society
First awarded 1824
Official website

The Gold Medal is the highest award of the Royal Astronomical Society.[1] The medal features an image of the 40-foot telescope that was constructed by German-born astronomer Sir William Herschel.


In the early years, more than one medal was often awarded in a year, but by 1833 only one medal was being awarded per year. This caused a problem when Neptune was discovered in 1846, because many felt an award should jointly be made to John Couch Adams and Urbain Le Verrier. A controversy arose and no award was made in 1847.

The controversy was resolved by giving 12 "testimonial" awards in 1848 to various people including Adams and Le Verrier, and in 1849 awards resumed, with a limit of one per year. Adams and Le Verrier did not get their gold medals until 1866 and 1868, respectively. Adams, as President, presented Le Verrier with the medal.

The practice of awarding one medal a year continued until 1963, although two medals were awarded in both 1867 and 1886 and in a few years no award was made. Since 1964 there have been two awards in each year, one for astronomy and one for geophysics.[2]

Gold Medal laureates

Ancillary awards

Silver medal

On two occasions, silver medals were also awarded, but this was soon discontinued.

Testimonial medal of 1848

Notes and references


  1. ^ a b The first woman to win the Gold Medal was Caroline Herschel in 1828. No other woman did so until Vera Rubin in 1996.
  2. ^ Margaret and Geoffrey Burbidge were jointly awarded the 2005 Gold Medal in astronomy, the first joint award since 1886.


  1. ^ "Gold Medal (A)", Awards, Medals and Prizes (  (The "Gold Medal (A)" is for astronomy. The RAS also awards a "Gold Medal (G)" for geophysics. (List of RAS Awards, Medals and Prizes))
  2. ^ a b "2013 winners of the RAS awards, medals and prizes". Royal Astronomical Society. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "News: Appointments and awards".  
  4. ^ "RAS meeting and Community Forum - JENAM 2009". Retrieved 23 April 2009. 
  5. ^ "RAS Honours Outstanding Astronomers and Geophysicists". Royal Astronomical Society. Retrieved 25 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "RAS honours outstanding astronomers and geophysicists".  
  7. ^ "RAS honours leading astronomers and geophysicists". Royal Astronomical Society. Retrieved 17 February 2012. 
  8. ^ "2014 winners of the RAS awards, medals and prizes". Royal Astronomical Society. 10 January 2014. Retrieved 21 January 2014. 

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.