SAGAS, or the Southern Area Group of Astronomical Societies to give us our full name, is a friendly gathering of Astronomical groups and societies that each recognise the benefits which can arise by being part of a larger community.
SAGAS was established in 1973 to provide a forum where Astronomical Societies across the South of England can meet to share ideas as well as discuss issues and concerns of mutual interest. By sharing ideas and experiences societies are able to inform, support and inspire each other, and further the astronomical interests of their own members
What does SAGAS do?
In essence, it is up to the membership to decide, but by working together individual groups and societies have a much stronger voice in the community. We meet quarterly at the South Downs Planetarium, Chichester where we discuss issues and concerns of mutual interest. These meetings allow member groups and societies to meet in a friendly and social environment.
Another important role of SAGAS is to attend meetings of the Federation of Astronomical Societies on behalf of SAGAS member societies and to provide a conduit between member societies and the Federation. SAGAS can also lobby on behalf of member groups and societies on local and regional issues affecting the astronomy community.
Our annual Summer Meetings are a highlight of the SAGAS calendar. Summer meetings provide a whole day of entertainment and education and are held at different locations each year. Past venues have included the Mullard Space Science Laboratory These events are open to members of SAGAS groups and societies.
Is my society eligible to join SAGAS?
Membership of SAGAS is open to any non-commercial astronomical group or society that fulfils some very basic requirements set out in our constitution.
There are no formal boundaries to the SAGAS area – if your group or society is eligible and wishes to join us we would be glad to have you as members. Likewise, we have no rigid criteria for what constitutes a group or society. We will offer the same warm welcome to traditional societies with regular monthly meetings as we would to small informal groups of astronomers who meet occasionally and only for observing. A more recent phenomenon is the advent of more loosely bound astronomical communities that come together via the Internet. It’s horses for courses and we recognize that people want to participate in different ways and we would encourage any group or society to join in, regardless of how it is organized.
What are the benefits of being a member?
It’s all about networking. SAGAS provides a hub that helps Astronomical Societies collaborate and share of knowledge. It is our experience that astronomical societies are always willing to advise and support each other. Whether you are looking to hold an event, want advice on where to find funding and grants, need to find a guest speaker, or perhaps are interested in finding some partners for a joint project, by being a member of SAGAS you can tap in to a huge depth and breadth of experience.
How does my society join SAGAS?
All enquiries membership or general enquiries about SAGAS should be sent to Graham Bryant, SAGAS Secretary at the email address below.