Derby and District Astronomical Society

Welcome to the website of the Derby & District Astronomical Society (DDAS). We were founded in 1974 and are 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 January. We also hold 'Introduction to Astronomy' evenings at the Friends Meeting House on the third Friday of the month, and these are designed to cover the basics of astronomy. See below for more information or check out our meetings programme. 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 Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope and Altair ED-80 refractor on a computerised 'GOTO' mount. 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 second 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 barbecue is held at the observatory on the first Saturday in July instead of a meeting at The Friend's Meeting House that month. The society also takes part in a number of public events and observing evenings during the year, at which members share their enthusiasm for the night sky and bring along their telescopes. 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 photograph the night sky and our picture gallery is entirely comprised of DDAS member's work.

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


DDAS member Pete Hill took the following image of the Milky Way on the 20th October this year while down under, at Yulara, just outside Uluru, Australia.  Image Credit: Pete Hill. More details...


THE SKY'S THE LIMIT - AT ELVASTON CASTLE will be held on both Saturday 26th November and Saturday 3rd December 2022 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm at Elvaston Castle, Borrowash Road (A6120), Elvaston, Derby, DE72 3EP. Come and join us for an evening of astronomy, with talks, telescopes, exhibits, and advice. There will be a chance to do some stargazing through a variety of telescopes if skies are clear, and this may extend beyond 9pm when the indoor activities close. The event is organised by Derby City Council and booking is essential as numbers are limited. To book please call Elvaston Castle Country Park on 01629 533870. Please note that for DDAS members there is no need to book, but please let DDAS Secretary  know that you will be attending, so he can issue you a badge.

Our NEXT MAIN MEETING will be held on Friday, 2nd December 2022 from 7:30 pm onwards at The Friends Meeting House, St. Helens Street, Derby, DE1 3GY. We welcome back Martin Braddock from Mansfield & Sutton Astronomical Society to give his presentation Wounded in Space: Trust me I'm a Doctor. For further details please email the DDAS Secretary .

The Flamsteed Observatory OUR NEXT OBSERVING SESSION will be held on Saturday 10th December 2022 from 7:30 pm onwards at the Society's Flamsteed Observatory. View the night sky through our 10-inch Meade telescope, and on screen via our video astronomy setup. Learn the constellations under our rural skies. Need advice on getting into astronomy, or on telescopes, binoculars or cameras? - just ask! For more details please email the DDAS Secretary .  Find us on Google Maps.

We will be holding a CHRISTMAS DINNER for DDAS members and their partners/spouses on the evening of Friday 16th December 2022 from 7:00 pm onwards at Brookfield Social Club, Barrow on Trent, DE73 7HG. If you are a paid up member of the DDAS and would like to attend then please email DDAS Secretary . Please note that this replaces our Introductory Meeting slot for December.

LATEST IMAGES!  The Milky Way from Australia on the 20th October 2022 by Pete Hill. The partial solar eclipse of the 25th October 2022 taken by Mike Dumelow. M15 taken by Mike Lancaster on the 17th October 2022. The Perseid meteor shower taken by Pete Hill on the 12th-13th August 2022. The sun in Ha taken by Pete Hill on the 12th August 2022. The North America and Pelican Nebulae taken by Dave Selfe on the 11th August 2022. The Coathanger Cluster, Garnet Star, M11, M13, M31 and NGC 6781 taken by Peter Branson in July 2022. The sun taken at different wavelengths by Pete Hill on the 10th July and 22nd June 2022. The Eastern Veil, Dumbell and Eagle nebulae captured by Peter Branson in June 2022. The moon taken by Peter Branson on the 5th May 2022. The Whirlpool Galaxy taken in April 2022 by Peter Branson. M65 and M66 taken by Dave Selfe on the 2nd April 2022. Caldwell 25, NGC 1501 and NGC 1502 taken by Dave Selfe on the 18th March 2022. M13 and M34 taken by Dave Selfe on the 25th and 18th March 2022 respectively. M13 taken by Dave Selfe on the 19th March 2022. M48 and NGC 2355 taken by Mike Lancaster on the 21st March and 19th March 2022 respectively. The Horsehead Nebula, M63 and M109 taken by Dave Selfe on the 26th February 2022. NGC 2266 and NGC 1931 taken by Mike Lancaster on the 14th and 6th March 2022 respectively. M97 and M108 taken by Dave Selfe on the 26th February 2022. M36, NGC 2420 and Caldwell 25 taken by Mike Lancaster on the 22nd, 25th and 26th February 2022 respectively. The Leo Triplet taken by Peter Branson on the 6th February 2022. M35, M37, M38, M67, the Beehive Cluster, Rosette Nebula and Orion Nebula taken by Dave Selfe in January 2022. The Bubble Nebula and M52 taken by Peter Branson on the 19th January 2022. The Moon and the Flame and Horsehead Nebulae taken by Peter Branson on the 19th-21st January 2022. The Eskimo Nebula taken by Mike Lancaster on the 22nd January 2022. Galaxies M81 and M82 taken by Peter Branson on the 5th and 12th January 2022. The Crab Nebula taken by Mike Lancaster on the 11th January 2022. The Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and Venus taken by Malcolm Neal on the 7th December 2021.

THE SPRING/SUMMMER 2022 EDITION OF ARIES IS NOW AVAILABLE... here. Thanks to our Aries editor Gill Pryor and all our contributors for making this edition possible.

HERSTMONCEUX VISIT...   A group of DDAS members paid a visit to the Herstmonceux Observatory Science Centre on the 9th April this year. A photojournal of the visit can be seen here.

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The DDAS is a member of the Federation of Astronomical Societies

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