Derby and District Astronomical Society


Becoming a Member and General Information on our Meetings


We extend a warm welcome to anyone who would like to come along to our meetings and suggest that people come along to a few of them before deciding if they would like to join. Membership itself currently stands at around 45 people. Benefits of being a member include anytime use of our observatory and site, a telescope hire scheme, borrowing books from our library, a discounted room collection, invitation on Society trips, and the right to vote on Society matters at our AGM. Members may also access the members area of our website - please email the if you would like an account. If you would like to become a member please contact our Treasurer who is usually available at our main meetings.


Meetings

The Society holds three types of meetings each month and you don't have to be a member to attend any of them, although of course we encourage people to join.
Our meeting programme is available here.

  • Our 'main meetings' are normally held on the first Friday of the month at 7:30 pm at The Friends Meeting House, St Helen's Street, Derby, DE1 3GY (moving to the following Friday if they would have fallen on a public holiday). Our main meetings usually involve a popular level talk by an outside speaker, typically from a university, on some aspect of astronomy or space science. DDAS members may also give talks and in either January or February we hold an informal quiz. The May meeting is replaced by our AGM, the July meeting by a BBQ the following Saturday at our observatory, and the August meeting by an observing session. For a location map of the Friend's Meeting House click here.

  • Between September and June we hold monthly 'Introduction to Astronomy' or 'second meetings' a fortnight after our 'main meetings' on a Friday at 7:30pm at The Friends Meeting House in Derby. These are aimed specifically at beginners, and may include advice and help on using telescopes, finding your way around the night sky, astrophotography etc. People are welcome to bring their own telescopes along and there may be an opportunity for some observing from the back garden of The Friends Meeting House.

  • Weather permitting we hold monthly observing sessions on the third Saturday of each month at our Flamsteed Observatory north of Brailsford. Our 10" Newtonian under the dome and our 8" Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope are available at these observing sessions as well as any telescopes that may be brought along by members. During summer months we also have a Lunt Solar Scope available before the sun goes down. New people are also encouraged to bring along their telescope if they have one. For more details please email our .

  • We also attend various events during the year such as stargazing sessions at Alvaston Park, Elvaston Castle, Carsington Sailing Club, Barrow on Trent Social Club, and Whistlewood Common near Melbourne etc. Check out our home page for upcoming events.


Membership Fees

£27 per year (concessions £18)
New members joining after January 1st will be liable to pay only a third of the Annual Subscription for that year.
Membership shall be deemed to have lapsed if a personís Annual Subscription has not been paid by September 30th in the year in which it is due.

Further details may be obtained from our Treasurer


Room Collection

There is a room collection for meetings held at The Friends Meeting House:

Members £1
Non-members £3

(Note that the room collection may be increased for certain evenings when we have an 'expensive' speaker. Amounts will be posted on the home page.)


Raffle

There is usually a raffle held and drawn at our main meetings. Tickets cost 20p each.
Prizes normally consist of astronomy books, planispheres and other gift items of astronomical interest.


Coffee

Coffee and biscuits are available during the break at our main meetings.
There is a donations dish for this and we suggest a 25p contribution or thereabouts.


Flamsteed Observatory

Both members and non-members alike are welcome to attend the regular monthly observing sessions at our Flamsteed Observatory north of Brailsford. All are welcome to bring along their own telescopes to these sessions. For more details please email our . Members may use the observatory at anytime subject to some instruction in the use of the telescope in the dome and a one off £5 fee for a key. For more information on instruction and obtaining a key please ask for Mike Dumelow at any of our meetings. Members may also use the field in which the observatory sits at anytime to bring along their own telescopes for observing. There is a donations box for observing sessions held at our Flamsteed Observatory. We suggest £1 per head for visitors. Any contributions are gratefully accepted but are purely voluntary!


Telescope Hire Scheme

Members may hire a telescope at our monthly meetings and there is no charge for this.
For more information click here or ask a committee member at one of our meetings.


DDAS Library

Members may borrow books from our library. These loans are free, and 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 books cover a wide range of astronomy related subjects and the current list of books can be seen here. For brief summaries of a small selection of these books click here. Why not search the internet for details of any listed book that interests you then browse the book at the DDAS meeting? Real books can be so much more pleasure to read than internet material. Our books are free, portable and provide in-depth knowledge of scientific and educational worth as well as general knowledge. There's nothing like reading a good book! For more information please ask for either Libby Ray or John Brown at one of our meetings.


Society Trips

The Society occasionally holds group visits to places of astronomical or space interest in the UK, to which members and their families are invited. Past visits include The Old Royal Observatory in Greenwich, the Planetary and Space Sciences Research labs at the Open University, the dark matter research labs down Boulby Mine in Yorkshire, Jodrell Bank and the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory. These are usually day trips either by coach or sharing cars.


All proceeds go into maintaining our programme of outside speakers, and pay for room and observatory site rent.