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 over 50 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.
Our next INTRODUCTION TO ASTRONOMY evening will be held on Friday 16th November 2018 from 7:30 pm onwards at The Friends Meeting House, St. Helens Street, Derby, DE1 3GY. DDAS member Mike Lancaster will be talking about The Messier Objects and Other Animals. 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. 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 DDAS Secretary
THE SKY'S THE LIMIT We have been invited by Derbyshire County Council to take part in two stargazing events this month at Elvaston Castle. These are on Saturday, 17th November 2018 from 7-9pm and Friday, 30th November 2018 from 7-9pm. Please note that the event on the 17th November replaces our regular observing session this month. If you are a DDAS member and wish to bring a telescope and be part of our 'display team' then please contact our secretary
as soon as possible. Otherwise booking online or with Elvaston Castle on 01629 533870 is essential and costs £6 for adults and £4 for children as spaces are limited. For more details please see the flyer.
Our NEXT MAIN MEETING will be held on Friday, 7th December 2018 from 7:30 pm onwards at The Friends Meeting House, St. Helens Street, Derby, DE1 3GY. Former DDAS member Chris Newsome will be giving a talk entitled 'New' Horizon. 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 and biscuits are provided during the break. Why not join us for refreshments at the Seven Stars afterwards?
DDAS IN DERBYSHIRE LIFE... The DDAS has made it into the October edition of Derbyshire Life magazine, in an article which talks about how to stargaze from our county. The article includes photos from some of our members, and our public relations officer, Anthony Southwell is also quoted. An on-line version of the article which includes one of the DDAS photos is available here. To see the full article get a copy of the magazine!
MERCIA MARINA EVENING... The DDAS was invited to give an astronomy evening at Mercia Marina on the 1st September 2018. Pictures from the event can be found here.
DDAS BBQ 2018 On the evening of the 7th July this year DDAS members enjoyed the annual barbecue at our Flamsteed Observatory. But due to the tinder dry conditions in our countryside location, we didn't actually light the barbecue itself and the event became a fuddle instead! The following pictures were taken by Neil Breakwell.
CHAIRMAN'S CHALLENGE 2018 For anyone who missed the Introduction to Astronomy Meeting in June, here is the Chairman's Challenge for this year. We've extended the challenge into autumn so we have a few objects for you to observe over the late spring/early summer and some for the late summer/early autumn. We've tried to get a range of objects for you to spot, some easy to find, some more challenging. Whatever you observe, let us know how you get on!
CULHAM REDUX So popular was the DDAS trip last year to the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy that a second batch of members got to see how you build a star on Earth on Saturday 28th April this year. The full story and pictures from last year's trip may be seen here and the article concludes with a group photo from this year's visit.
FREE TELESCOPE HIRE SCHEME Members may now hire a telescope for free at our monthly meetings and unlike our previous arrangement you don't have to have been in the society for any particular length of time - so brand new members can now take advantage of this scheme! For more information click here or ask a Committee member at one of our meetings.
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 at one of our meetings.