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. 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.


DDAS members at Jodrell Bank on the 16th April this year.  Image Copyright: Dave Maynard.  More pictures from this trip...


Our NEXT MAIN MEETING will be held on Friday, 3rd June 2016 from 7:30 pm onwards at The Friends Meeting House, St. Helens Street, Derby, DE1 3GY. DDAS member Anthony Southwell will be giving a talk on Pluto Revealed: The New Horizons Mission to the Frontier of the Solar System. 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 is provided during the break. Why not join us for refreshments at the Seven Stars afterwards?

Our next INTRODUCTION TO ASTRONOMY evening will be held on Friday 17th June 2016 from 7:30 pm onwards at The Friends Meeting House, St. Helens Street, Derby, DE1 3GY. DDAS member Dave Selfe will be talking about Solar Observing. This will be accompanied by a quick look at what's in the night sky and the latest space news from Dave Selfe and Anthony Southwell respectively. If you need help and advice with a telescope or binoculars then why not bring them along to the meeting and a member of the society will try to help. If it's clear the meeting will shift outside and there will be an opportunity to safely look at the Sun through a solar telescope from the back garden of The Friends 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. If you would like more details please email .

MERCURY TRANSIT   DDAS members brought along a variety of telescopes to Alvaston Park in Derby on the 9th May to observe the transit of Mercury and provide visitors with a rare glimpse of the solar system in action. Pictures and reports on the event can be seen here...

LATEST IMAGES!  The transit of Mercury on the 9th May 2016 imaged by various DDAS members. A circumzenithal arc seen during the transit of Mercury on the 9th May 2016. The Moon taken by Simon Behnke on the 18th and 21st February 2016. The Double Cluster by Brian Dodson. The moon taken by Brian Dodson on the 15th February 2016. Iridescent clouds taken by Pete Hill on the 1st February 2016. Three images of the moon taken by Robert Seymour on the 20th December 2015. The total lunar eclipse of the 28th September 2015 by Pete Hill, Peter Branson, Chris Newsome and Robert Seymour. The super moon on the 27th September 2015 by Dave Maynard. Neptune and it's moon Triton and also the Bubble Nebula, both taken by Peter Branson in summer 2015. A plot of radar/radio observations of meteor showers during August 2015 taken by Pete Hill. The Sun on the 26th August 2015 taken through a Coronado PST by Pete Hill. A Perseid fireball taken by Pete Hill on the night of the 12th-13th August 2015. The close conjunction of Venus and Jupiter on the 30th June 2015 by Tony Barker. The Iris Nebula by Peter Branson taken in May and June 2015.

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.

Scope Hire TELESCOPE HIRE SCHEME   Members who have been in the Society for at least a year may now hire a telescope at our monthly meetings.
For more information click here or ask for at one of our meetings.

STARGAZING & SAILING   The DDAS teamed up with Carsington Sailing Club on the 20th February this year for an evening of stargazing, talks and exhibits. DDAS secretary Brian Dodson has provided this write up of the evening with pictures by John Fleming of the sailing club.

CHRIS NORTH VISIT   Dr Chris North from the School of Physics & Astronomy at the University of Cardiff gave a talk on The State of the Cosmos at our meeting on the 4th December 2015. Chris is best known as a presenter on The Sky at Night but his primary work at Cardiff involves the Herschel Space Observatory, Planck satellite and outreach activities.   Full picture...

BARROW EVENT A SUCCESS   On Saturday 24th October 2015 the DDAS returned to the Brookfield Social Club at Barrow on Trent for an evening of stargazing. As well as a number of telescopes set up outside we had an exhibition inside and had a good turnout from members and the public alike. We were even blessed by (mostly) clear skies! Pictures from the event can be seen here...

A FOND FAREWELL   DDAS member Arthur Tristram recently moved away to more southern (and darker) climes and was presented with an engraved brass telescope in recognition of his 36 years in the Society. Pictures from the leaving do can be seen here...

MULLARD TRIP   A group of DDAS members visited the Mullard Radio Astronomy Observatory in Cambridge on Saturday 12th September 2015.  Full story and pictures...

DDAS Library LATEST EDITION OF ARIES NOW AVAILABLE!   The summer/autumn 2015 edition of the DDAS journal Aries is now available here as a PDF document. Members are also entitled to a free paper copy at one of our meetings. Thanks to our Aries editor Anthony Southwell and all our contributors for making this edition possible.

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Last Updated: 22nd May 2016. Click here for what's new on the site.