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 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. 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 now usually held on the second Saturday of the month and start times vary with the season. We are also now holding some of our 'Introduction to Astronomy' evenings at the observatory. The observatory is also available for use by individual members at any time after some simple training. A summer barbecue or fuddle is usually 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 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 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.


The DDAS held an exhibition and stargazing evening at Elvaston Castle on Saturday 7th December 2019. Pictures from the event can be seen here...  


Our next INTRODUCTION TO ASTRONOMY evening will be held on Friday 17th January 2019 from 7:30 pm onwards at The Friends Meeting House, St. Helens Street, Derby, DE1 3GY. DDAS member Peter Branson will be giving a presentation entitled My Holiday on the Moon. 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 .

ALVASTON PARK STARGAZING   We'll be stargazing in Alvaston Park on Saturday 25th January 2019 from around 6 pm onwards at the Community Building, Alvaston Park, Derby. A variety of telescopes will be brought along by members and visitors are encouraged to bring along their own. If its clear there will be a chance to see some celestial wonders. We'll also be on hand to offer advice on choosing and using telescopes and binoculars and finding your way around the night sky. There will also be displays, refreshments and activities inside.

Our NEXT MAIN MEETING will be held on Friday, 7th February 2020 from 7:30 pm onwards at The Friends Meeting House, St. Helens Street, Derby, DE1 3GY. Neil Haggath will be giving us a talk on How Big is Space? 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 and biscuits are provided during the break. Why not join us for refreshments at the Seven Stars afterwards?

STARLINK SATELLITES SEEN OVER DERBYSHIRE...   Derbyshire residents were recently startled by the appearance of Space X's constellation of Starlink satellites in the night sky. DDAS Public Relations Officer Anthony Southwell was interviewed by BBC East Midlands Today about this and you can read the article here.

LATEST IMAGES!  The conjunction of Venus and Saturn on the 11th December 2019 and the ISS on the 1st December 2019 by Pete Hill. The conjunction between Venus, the Moon and Jupiter on the 28th November 2019 by Claire Spencer. The North America Nebula and M31 taken by Chris Callaway in autumn 2019. The Veil Nebula taken by Chris Callaway in August/September 2019. The Pillars of Creation in the Eagle Nebula, imaged by Peter Branson on the 20th June 2019. A glory photographed by Pete Hill on the 20th June 2019. The Moon and Venus in April 2019 and the conjunction of Jupiter and Venus in January 2019 by Claire Spencer. The Flaming Star and Rosette nebulae by Chris Callaway in February 2019.

SPACE CENTRE VISIT...   On the 20th July last year a group of around 20 DDAS members visited the National Space Centre in Leicester in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. Pictures from the visit can be found here.

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 at one of our meetings.

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The DDAS is a member of the Federation of Astronomical Societies


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