DPS History

General History

In 1968, a group of members of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) developed a sub-organization within the AAS devoted to solar system research. The first organizing committee members were: E. Anders, L. Branscomb, J. W. Chamberlain, R. Goody, J. S. Hall, A. Kliore, M. B. McElroy, T. Owen, G. H. Pettengill, C. Sagan, and H. J. Smith.

Today, the Division for Planetary Science is the largest special interest Division of the AAS. Members of the DPS study the bodies of our own solar system from planets and moons to comets and asteroids and all other solar system objects and processes. With the discovery that planets exist around other stars, the DPS expanded its scope to include the study of extrasolar planetary systems as well.

For information on membership benefits and how to join the DPS, please visit the membership page.

Reference Materials

Ronald E. Doel; Solar System Astronomy in America: Communities, Patronage, and Interdisciplinary Science, 1920-1960.

Robert S. Kraemer & Roger D. Launius; Beyond the Moon: Golden Age of Planetary Exploration 1971-1978 (Smithsonian History of Aviation and Spaceflight Series).

Joseph Chamberlain & Dale Cruikshank; The Beginnings of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the AAS; in The American Astronomical Society’s First Century; David DeVorkin, Ed.; 1999.

DPS Obituaries


Leadership History