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 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. 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.


The DDAS at Whistlewood Common last August. We'll be holding a similar event on the 19th-20th August this year - click here for details. Image Copyright: Tony Barker.


WHISTLEWOOD COMMON STAR PARTY   The DDAS and Whistlewood Common will be holding a star party on Saturday 19th - Sunday 20th August 2017 at Whistlewood Common, near Melbourne, DE73 8DH. The event opens at 3pm on the Saturday and as well as night time stargazing we will have solar observing during the day, games and activities for children and a competition to win a telescope. This is a drop in family event with craft activities, refreshments and campfire cooking (bring your own food). Prices are 3/Adult 1/Child for a day ticket. Or if you wish to stay over night 5/Tent and 15/Caravan (the event is free to DDAS members). More details are available in the event flyer or email DDAS secretary . Whistlewood is just off The Common on the road between Melbourne and Ticknall - opposite Dovesite Business Park. Full directions are available on the Whistlewood Common website. Pictures from last year's event can be seen here.

Our NEXT MAIN MEETING will be held on Friday, 1st September 2017 from 7:30 pm onwards at The Friends Meeting House, St. Helens Street, Derby, DE1 3GY. Professor Rob Jeffries from Keele University will be giving a talk on Gaia - Mapping the Milky Way and More. 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?

ROCKET MAN...   On the evening of Saturday 3rd June 2017 a group of DDAS members gathered to watch the launch of DDAS member Anthony Southwell's model rocket Aries.  Full story and pictures...

HOW DO YOU BUILD A STAR ON EARTH?   On Saturday 20th May 2017 a group of 12 DDAS members headed down to Culham in Oxfordshire to find out. Full story and pictures...

OH MY...WOW!   ...were words often heard at the stargazing evening at Alvaston Park on the 4th February this year as visitors were treated to their first views of the Moon, Venus and other sights through telescopes brought along by DDAS members. Pictures from the event can be seen here...

LATEST IMAGES!  Cygnus by Steven Chambers in July 2017. M13 by Brian Dodson in July 2017. The double stars Albireo and Epsilon Lyrae by Peter Branson on the 25th June 2017. Cygnus by Steven Chambers in June 2017. An image and video of Jupiter by Peter Branson in April 2017. The lunar crater Endymion and Mare Humboltianum, the Rupes Altai and the craters Ptolemaeus, Aphonsus and Arzachel all taken by Peter Branson in April 2017. The Orion Nebula and the constellations of Orion, Taurus and Cassiopeia taken by Steven Chambers in January 2017. The northern lights from Iceland, taken by Adrian Brown on the 17th October 2016. The summer milky way from SW France by Robert Seymour. A moon dog and the Pillars of Creation by Peter Branson taken in the summer of 2016.

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 or John Brown at one of our meetings.

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The DDAS is a member of the Federation of Astronomical Societies


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Last Updated: 5th August 2017. Click here for what's new on the site.