Formed in 1974, the Federation of Astronomical Societies was conceived as a sort of union of astronomical societies, groups, and individuals, liaising together, where practicable, for their mutual benefit. A list of federation aims was drawn up which included such items as the compilation of lists of people prepared to give talks, the encouragement of the teaching of astronomy in educational establishments, the giving of advice on problems commonly encountered by astronomical societies, and so on.

In short the Federation aims to be a body of societies united in their attempts to help each other find the best ways of working for their common cause of creating a fully successful astronomical society. In this way it endeavours to be a true federation, rather than some remote central organisation disseminating information only from its own limited experience.

The FAS is becoming a useful resource centre for data appertaining to education in astronomy as well as for the guidance of astronomical societies with any functional problems. Thus it is quite different from other astronomical organisations in the country. There are approximately 200 astronomical societies in the FAS; see Members page for the latest listing.