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Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society: Wikis


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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
Presented by Royal Astronomical Society
Country United Kingdom
First awarded 1824
Official Website

The Gold Medal is the highest award of the Royal Astronomical Society.



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 most years, one for astronomy and one for geophysics.

Gold Medal laureates

Category:Recipients of the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society

Ancillary awards


Silver medal

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

Testimonial medal of 1848


External links


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