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 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.
DDAS member Chris Newsome captured this image of the sun on the 2nd May this year. It is a composite of two frames taken in quick sucession (one for the clouds and one for the sun). You can pick out some sunspots in the 8 o'clock position.
Higher resolution version...
|Our NEXT MAIN MEETING will be held on Friday, 7th June 2013 from 7:30 pm onwards at The Friends Meeting House, St. Helens Street, Derby, DE1 3GY. We welcome back the irrepressible Paul Money to give his talk on Images of the Universe: Volume 3. There will be a raffle with astronomy book prizes and coffee is provided during the break. There is a collection which helps pay for the rental of the room which is £1 for members and £3 for non-members. 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 at the Seven Stars afterwards?|
|Our NEXT OBSERVING SESSION will be held on Saturday 22nd June 2013 from 9:30 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 . WE ASK THAT WHEN ENTERING THE SITE THAT DRIVERS TURN IMMEDIATELY LEFT AND DRIVE THROUGH THE SECOND GATE AND THEN TURN IMMEDIATELY RIGHT AGAIN TO USE WHAT IS OUR 'OFFICIAL' CAR PARK - RATHER THAN PARKING IN THE FIELD STRAIGHT OFF THE LANE.|
|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 which can be seen here.|
|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...|
|ANTIQUE ASTRONOMY... DDAS member Mike Dumelow brought along his recently acquired antique 6-inch Newtonian reflector to the DDAS observing session on the 17th November 2012. More details...|
|CONJUNCTIONS, CONJUNCTIONS, CONJUNCTIONS... have graced the skies of 2012. On the 3rd October Venus and the star Regulus were very close together in the morning sky and Jupiter and the Moon were in close conjuction during the predawn skies on the 15th July. Click here to read DDAS member Brian Dodson's entertaining account of his attempt to observe the July event. Venus, Jupiter and the Moon were also all in conjunction during February and March this year. Throughout the year a number of DDAS members have photographed these various groupings and their pictures can be seen here (Jupiter) and here (Venus).|
|CHAMPAGNE AND CAKE... On the 6th June last year DDAS member Chris Newsome travelled down to Selsey to witness the Transit of Venus and met up with some famous stars from the BBC's Sky At Night! Click here to read his illustrated account of the proceedings.|
The DDAS is a member of the
Federation of Astronomical
Societies and in 2004 received a generous equipment grant from
Awards for All.
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Last Updated: 19th May 2013. Click here for what's new on the site.