Derby and District Astronomical Society

Welcome to the website of the Derby & District Astronomical Society. The Derby & District Astronomical Society (DDAS) was founded in 1974 and is open to all with an interest in astronomy. We currently number over 50 members from all walks of life and whose knowledge of astronomy ranges from complete beginner to advanced. The society holds regular meetings on the first Friday of each month (except July and August) at 7:30 pm at the Friend's Meeting House on St. Helen's Street in Derby. Meetings usually involve an outside speaker, but members also give talks and the society holds a quiz in February. We also hold 'Introduction to Astronomy' evenings at the Friends Meeting House on the third Friday of the month. See below for more information. We are a friendly and, despite our subject, 'down to earth' society. Meetings are a great way for potential new members to see what we're about in an informal and relaxed atmosphere. The social aspect continues after most monthly meetings with a visit to, appropriately enough, The Seven Stars.

The society's Flamsteed Observatory near Brailsford houses a 10-inch Newtonian reflector. The observatory is named in honour of England's first Astronomer Royal, the Reverend John Flamsteed (1646-1719), who was born in Derbyshire and attended Derby School. Regular monthly observing sessions are held (weather permitting) at the facility and new people are always welcome. They are usually held on the third Saturday of the month and start times vary with the season. The observatory is also available for use by individual members at any time after some simple training. A summer barbecue is usuallly held at the observatory on the Saturday following the first Friday in July instead of a meeting at The Friend's Meeting House that month. Public observing evenings are also occasionally held in Derby at which members share their enthusiasm for the night sky and the club's portable 8" Meade LX-90 telescope is used. We also bring this telescope along to cub, scout, brownie and guide groups, schools etc., to which members also give talks. An annual trip provides the opportunity for members to visit a different site of astronomical or space interest within the UK each year. Several of our members are highly accomplished astrophotographers and our picture gallery is entirely comprised of DDAS member's work.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Please note that all images taken by members on this website are copyright of those individuals. If you would like to use any of these images please contact the .

For general information on all our meetings and the benefits of becoming a member please click here.


Back in 2008 DDAS member Graham Ensor was thrilled to be asked to present a piece of his artwork to the late Professor Stephen Hawking - while the famed scientist was on a visit to the University of Leicester. Full story....   Image © Graham Ensor.


Our ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING will be held on Friday, 4th May 2018 from 7:30 pm onwards at The Friends Meeting House, St. Helens Street, Derby, DE1 3GY. This is the start of our membership year and a good time for new people to join, and existing members to renew their subscriptions. You can also get a discount on your subs if you pay at the AGM. Existing members may also vote on society matters and the election of the new committee. There will be a raffle with astronomy book prizes and coffee is provided during the break. Why not join us for refreshments at the Seven Stars afterwards?

Our next INTRODUCTION TO ASTRONOMY evening will be held on Friday 18th May 2018 from 7:30 pm onwards at The Friends Meeting House, St. Helens Street, Derby, DE1 3GY. DDAS Secretary Brian Dodson will be explaining how to safely observe the Sun. If you need help and advice with a telescope or binoculars then why not bring them along to the meeting and a member of the society will try to help. The idea of these introductory meetings is to allow people more time to have their questions about astronomy answered and discuss things at a greater length than at our 'main' meetings. There is a collection which helps pay for the rental of the Friend's Meeting House which is 1 for members and 3 for non-members. If you would like more details please email DDAS Secretary .

The Flamsteed Observatory Our NEXT OBSERVING SESSION will be held on Saturday 19th May 2018 from 9:30 pm onwards at the Society's Flamsteed Observatory. A variety of telescopes will be available, including the Society's 10" Newtonian under the dome, as well as any that may be brought along by members. New people are always welcome and you can even bring your own scope! If you would like more details please email DDAS Secretary .

LATEST IMAGES!  The California Nebula and the lower portion of Orion taken by Steve Chambers in February 2018. The red sun seen on the 16th October 2017 and of the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus on the 13th November 2017 by Claire Spencer. The Double Cluster and Orion Nebula by Steven Chambers in December 2017. The 37 Cluster by Brian Dodson in November 2017. The Northern Lights from Iceland in October 2017 by Adrian Brown. The Pleiades captured by Steven Chambers in November 2017. Uranus and also the 'red sun' seen in October 2017 by Tony Barker. The Milky Way from Bryce Canyon, Utah and star trails from West Yellowstone, Montana on the 16th and 18th August 2017 respectively by Pete Hill. Pictures of the total solar eclipse of 21st August 2017 taken by Neil Breakwell and Pete Hill. Perseid meteors and an Iridium flare by Adrian Brown on the 12th August 2017. Cepheus and Cygnus by Steven Chambers in July 2017. M13 by Brian Dodson in July 2017. The double stars Albireo and Epsilon Lyrae by Peter Branson on the 25th June 2017. Cygnus by Steven Chambers in June 2017. An image and video of Jupiter by Peter Branson in April 2017.

NORTHUMBERLAND TRIP...   In September 2017 a number of DDAS members travelled to the village of Bellingham on the edge of the Kielder Forest in Northumberland to try and do a spot of observing under dark skies. An account of the trip is provided here by Brian Dodson in the second of his 'Misadventures' articles. More pictures from the trip can be found here.

ROCKET MAN...   On the evening of Saturday 3rd June 2017 a group of DDAS members gathered to watch the launch of DDAS member Anthony Southwell's model rocket Aries.  Full story and pictures...

HOW DO YOU BUILD A STAR ON EARTH?   On Saturday 20th May 2017 a group of 12 DDAS members headed down to Culham in Oxfordshire to find out. Full story and pictures...

Scope Hire FREE TELESCOPE HIRE SCHEME   Members may now hire a telescope for free at our monthly meetings and unlike our previous arrangement you don't have to have been in the society for any particular length of time - so brand new members can now take advantage of this scheme! For more information click here or ask a Committee member at one of our meetings.

DDAS Library DDAS LIBRARY   Members may borrow books for free from our growing library. Loans last for one month or more, depending on whether other members may wish to borrow a loaned item. The library is available at our main monthly meetings for browsing, borrowing and returns. A number of these volumes were kindly donated by the estate of the late Keith Plamping, DDAS member. The library contains nearly 70 volumes and the books cover a wide range of astronomy related subjects. The current list of books can be seen here. For brief summaries of a small selection of these books click here. For more information please ask for Libby Ray or John Brown at one of our meetings.

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The DDAS is a member of the Federation of Astronomical Societies


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