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 around 40 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.
DDAS members at the Whistlewood Common Star Party near Melbourne this August. Image Copyright: Tony Barker. More pictures...
Our NEXT MAIN MEETING will be held on Friday, 4th November 2016 from 7:30 pm onwards at The Friends Meeting House, St. Helens Street, Derby, DE1 3GY. Martin Braddock from the Mansfield Astronomical Society will be giving a talk on The Challenges Facing Astronauts Medically and Physically on Long Journeys. There is a room fee which is £3 for non-members and £1 for members. 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 November 2016 from 7:30 pm onwards at The Friends Meeting House, St. Helens Street, Derby, DE1 3GY. DDAS member Mike Lancaster will be showing you how to find your way around the night sky, introducing the constellations and some objects of interest and how to find them. 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. If it's clear the meeting will shift outside and there will be an opportunity to look through a telescope from the back garden of The Friends Meeting House. 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
Our NEXT OBSERVING SESSION will be held on Saturday 19th November 2016 from 7:30 pm onwards at the Society's Flamsteed Observatory. A variety of telescopes will be available, including the Society's 10" Newtonian under the dome and our 8" Schmidt-Cassegrain outside, 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
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 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.
MERCURY TRANSIT DDAS members brought along a variety of telescopes to Alvaston Park in Derby on the 9th May to observe the transit of Mercury and provide visitors with a rare glimpse of the solar system in action. Pictures and reports on the event can be seen here...
JODRELL BANK VISIT DDAS members visited Jodrell Bank on the 16th April this year. Pictures from the trip can be seen here...
STARGAZING & SAILING The DDAS teamed up with Carsington Sailing Club on the 20th February this year for an evening of stargazing, talks and exhibits. DDAS secretary Brian Dodson has provided this write up of the evening with pictures by John Fleming of the sailing club.
CHRIS NORTH VISIT Dr Chris North from the School of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Cardiff gave a talk on The State of the Cosmos at our meeting on the 4th December 2015. Chris is best known as a presenter on The Sky at Night but his primary work at Cardiff involves the Herschel Space Observatory, Planck satellite and outreach activities. Full picture...