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 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.

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

An observing session in progress at the DDAS Flamsteed Observatory.  Credit: Mike Lancaster.

The Flamsteed Observatory OUR NEXT OBSERVING SESSION will be held on Saturday 10th June 2023 from 9:30 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.

Our next INTRODUCTION TO ASTRONOMY evening will be held on Friday 16th June 2023 from 7:30 pm onwards at The Friends Meeting House, St. Helens Street, Derby, DE1 3GY (next door to Radio Derby). This will be an informal open session with refreshments available, at which we can discuss astronomy and space, and the DDAS itself. If anyone has any questions about astronomy or space, about telescopes, or even about the club, then please feel free to raise them at the meeting. If anyone is struggling with setting up a telescope or camera for astronomy, then we may be able to help. This replaces the talk that DDAS member Dr Mike Lancaster was going to give on The Summer Sky, which will now be given at our main meeting on Friday, 2nd June 2023. For further details please email the DDAS Secretary .  Find our meeting location on Google Maps.

The DDAS BARBECUE will be held on Saturday, 1st July 2023 from 7:30 pm onwards at the Society's Flamsteed Observatory. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS INSTEAD OF A MEETING AT THE FRIENDS MEETING HOUSE IN DERBY THE DAY BEFORE. If the skies are clear there may be an opportunity to do some solar observing while the sun is still up, before night-time observing later. New people are always welcome and you can bring your own telescope as well as food! Admittance is free! If you would like more details please email DDAS Secretary .

LATEST IMAGES!  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 Eskimo Nebula, M67 and M95 taken in April 2023 by Mike Lancaster. Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) taken on the 7th February 2023 by Peter Branson. Comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF), M81, the Monkey Head Nebula, The Christmas Tree Cluster, Cone Nebula & Fox Fur Nebula, Rosette Nebula and Crab Nebula all taken in January 2023 by Mike Lancaster. Atmospheric halos and associated phenomena taken by Chris Lewis on the 17th January 2023. An animation of the occultation of Mars by the Moon on the 8th December 2022 by Pete Hill. The partial solar eclipse of the 25th October 2022 taken by Mike Dumelow. The Milky Way from Australia on the 20th October 2022 by Pete Hill. 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.

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVELL ... A group of DDAS members paid a visit to Jodrell Bank on the 22nd April this year. A photojournal of the visit can be seen here.


The DDAS is a member of the Federation of Astronomical Societies

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