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. Benefits of being a member include anytime use of our observatory and site, borrowing books from our library, a discounted room collection, invitation on Society trips, and the right to vote on Society matters at our AGM. If you would like to become a member please contact our Treasurer who is usually available at our main 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). 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. 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 January we hold an informal quiz. The May meeting is replaced by our AGM, the July meeting by a barbecue at our observatory, and the August meeting by an observing session.

  • We also 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.

  • Weather permitting we hold monthly observing sessions on the Saturday following the Saturday immediately after our main meetings. Check out our home page or meeting programme for the latest information. The observing sessions take place at our Flamsteed Observatory, which is located on North Lane, Ashbourne, DE6 1PL, about two miles north of the village of Brailsford, and may be found on Google Maps. Our 10" Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain, Altair ED80 refractor and GPCAM under the dome, as well as any telescopes that may be brought along by members are available. 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 . Please note that anyone visiting our observatory and site, be they members or non-members, do so entirely at their own risk.

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

2023/24 Membership Fees

28 per year (concessions 19)
Couples/families receive a 10% discount
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 person's 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.)


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! Please note that anyone visiting our observatory and site, be they members or non-members, do so entirely at their own risk.

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 just ask 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 Observatory & Science Centre at Herstmonceux, 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.