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The BBC News item Light shed on mystery space radio pulses is interesting enough in its own right. But I noticed that it is reporting on news from the 231st meeting of the American Astronomical Society.

These kinds of meetings are usually annual; for example the 120th Annual meeting of the American Physical Society will be in 2019.

Were there enough astronomers in the US in 1787 to have an American Astronomical Society and it's first meeting?

If it turns out that the answer is that meetings were more frequent than annual, why would that be?

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The first meeting of the AAS was held in September 1899 in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. The meetings were held once a year initially. The frequency varied somewhat for the next 60 or so years. The meetings appear to have settled down to twice a year about 40 years ago, one in January and another in late spring.

Source: https://aas.org/meetings/past-aas-meetings

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