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 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 February. The club's portable LX90 telescope is often brought to these meetings
and set up in the garden of The Friends Meeting House if the skies are clear. We are also currently holding some extra '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 at the facility and new people are always welcome.
The observatory is also available for use by individual members at any time
after some simple training. We endeavour to hold monthly observing sessions at the Flamsteed Observatory but these depend on both the weather and the availability of members. They are usually held on the third Saturday of the month and start times vary with the season. A summer barbecue
is 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.
Sky At Night co-presenter Dr Chris Lintott gives a Review of 2013 at the DDAS meeting on the 6th December. Picture by Chris Newsome. (more pictures).
Our next INTRODUCTION TO ASTRONOMY evening will be held on
Friday, 20th December 2013 from 7:30 pm onwards at The Friends Meeting House, St. Helens Street, Derby,
DE1 3GY. DDAS member Mike Dumelow will be holding a Telescope Workshop. If it is a clear night we may have a chance to do some star gazing from the back garden of the meeting house. 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.
Our NEXT OBSERVING SESSION will be held on Saturday 21st December 2013 from 7:30 pm onwards at the Society's Flamsteed Observatory. A variety of telescopes will be available, including the Society's 10" Newtonian under the dome as well as any that may be brought along by members. New people are always welcome and you can even bring your own scope! If you would like more details please email
Our NEXT MAIN MEETING will be the SOCIETY QUIZ to be held on Friday, 3rd January 2014 from 7:30 pm onwards at The Friends Meeting House, St. Helens Street, Derby, DE1 3GY. This is a fun event which no-one takes too seriously. Our quizmaster for the evening will be DDAS member Arthur Tristram. Why not give it a go? You might even win a prize! Coffee is provided during the break. If it is clear there may be an opportunity to look through a telescope from the back garden of The Friends Meeting House. Why not join us for a drink at the Seven Stars afterwards?
LATEST IMAGES! Mike Dumelow and Mike Lancaster photographed a parhelion that appeared over Belper on the 30th June. Chris Newsome took an image of the Sun on the 19th July, some pictures of the Star Disc at Wirksworth on the 1st July, of Isaac Newton's birthplace on the 27th October, of a visit by the DDAS LX90 telescope to the Spondon Beavers on the 18th November 2013, and has submitted some star trails he took back in 2009. Also a picture of Martin Griffiths delivering his talk to the DDAS on the 1st November 2013 by Malcolm Neal.
A SPRING TRIO... A couple of DDAS members photographed the conjunction of Jupiter, Venus and Mercury on the evening of the 25th - 26th May. No three planet conjunction will be closer until 2026. The pictures can be seen here.
PAN STARRS... A couple of DDAS members managed to photograph Comet PANSTARRS this year and their images can be seen here.
WAY OUT WEST... DDAS member Chris Newsome travelled to the south-west USA in August last year. While there he took a number of astronomical images which can be seen here. More recently he shot some photos of the sun and the moon.
BIG ISN'T IT?... DDAS members joined Stargazing Live presenter Dr Mark Thompson and science historian Dr Allan Chapman on the evening of the 10th January this year for a live outside broadcast to unveil a re-construction of Wiliiam Herschel's 20 foot telescope at The University of Derby. More pictures...
ALVASTON PARK STARGAZING A HUGE SUCCESS... Hot on the heels of our TV appearance on Stargazing Live on the 10th January we took a number of telescopes to Alvaston Park the following Saturday for a spot of actual stargazing! More details...