Derby and District Astronomical Society

Celebrating Our 50th Anniversary Year


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 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. This period stone building is owned by the Quakers Religious Society Of Friends, and is next door to BBC Radio Derby. Please note that we are not affiliated with the Quakers Religious Society Of Friends, but rent the meeting space from them. This venue may be found on Google Maps. 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 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 located on North Lane, Ashbourne, DE6 1PL, about two miles north of the village of Brailsford, and may be found on Google Maps. The observatory is 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.


Orion rises into the winter sky in this picture captured in January 2024 by DDAS member Peter Branson.  Picture Credit: Peter Branson.  



Our NEXT MAIN MEETING will be held on Friday, 1st March 2024 from 7:30 pm onwards at The Friends Meeting House, St. Helens Street, Derby, DE1 3GY (next door to Radio Derby). We welcome back Dr Susan Cartwright, from the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Sheffield, to give us a talk entitled Footprints of the Big Bang. For further details please email the DDAS Secretary .  Find our meeting location on Google Maps.

The Flamsteed Observatory OUR NEXT OBSERVING SESSION will be held on Saturday 9th March 2024 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 .  Our observatory may be found on Google Maps. Please note that anyone visiting our observatory and site, be they members or non-members, do so entirely at their own risk.

Our next INTRODUCTION TO ASTRONOMY evening will be held on Friday 15th March 2024 from 7:30 pm onwards at The Friends Meeting House, St. Helens Street, Derby, DE1 3GY (next door to Radio Derby). DDAS member Donald Anderson will be looking at What is the Problem with Gravity? For further details please email the DDAS Secretary .  Find our meeting location on Google Maps.






LATEST IMAGES!  Jupiter, the gibbous moon and the Trapezium Cluster captured by Peter Branson in January 2024. The Orion Nebula, the Horsehead and Flame Nebulae, the Plieades and the Christmas Tree Cluster, Cone and Fox Fur Nebulae captured by Chris Callaway in January 2024. The Crab Nebula and M35 captured by Mike Lancaster on the 17th January 2024. The moon taken on the 17th January 2024 by Jim Sarsgard and Tony Wright. Orion captured by Peter Branson on the 15th January 2024. Jupiter captured by Tony Wright on the 28th November 2023. Globular clusters Caldwell 42 and M15, and galaxy Caldwell 30, all captured by Mike Lancaster on the 10th November 2023. The Sun and the Veil Nebula taken in October and November 2023 by Chris Callaway. The moon captured by both Mike Lancaster and Malcolm Neal on the 29th October 2023. Globular cluster M2 captured by Mike Lancaster on the 13th October 2023. The Sun taken by Pete Hill on the 4th September 2023. Open cluster NGC 6823 captured by Mike Lancaster in September 2023. The Ring Nebula captured by Mike Lancaster on the 4th September 2023. M31 captured by John Hill in August and September 2023. The Blue Super Moon of the 30th August 2023 captured by Malcolm Neal, Jim Sarsgard , Iryna Eaton and Donald Anderson. Bode's Galaxy M81 captured by John Hill on the 15th August 2023. The Crescent and Dumbell nebulae, and globular clusters M13, M56, M71, M92 and Caldwell 47, all taken by Mike Lancaster in August 2023. The Sun taken on the 9th and 10th August 2023 by Chris Callaway. M81 & M82 and M101, all taken on the 25th July 2023 by Steve Chambers. The Eagle Nebula taken by John Hill on the 9th July 2023. An image of the Sun taken on the 7th July 2023 by Peter Branson. The Western Veil Nebula taken in June 2023 by Peter Branson. A time-lapse image of Barnard's Star taken in June 2022 and June 2023 by Peter Branson. The Sun taken in various wavelengths by Pete Hill on the 3rd June 2023. M13, M51 and M57 taken on the 21st May 2023 by Brian Dodson and Mike Lancaster at the Flamsteed Observatory. The Dumbell Nebula and the Whirlpool Galaxy taken by John Hill on the 14th and 20th May 2023 respectively. The Eskimo Nebula, M67 and M95 taken in April 2023 by Mike Lancaster.

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVELL ... A group of DDAS members paid a visit to Jodrell Bank on the 22nd April 2023. 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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