The Deep Sky Section of the British Astronomical Association was formed in 1981 by its first director, Ron Arbour, to cater for the growing interest of the BAA’s membership in the field. Deep Sky studies in amateur circles had been becoming increasingly popular from the 1960s onwards, with the availability of good atlases, textbooks, larger aperture reflectors, faster colour emulsions, and magazine coverage. Recreational Deep Sky astronomy is now one of the most popular pastimes of the amateur astronomers worldwide.

The Aims of the Deep Sky Section are:

  • to represent the Deep Sky interests of the membership of the BAA ; 
  • to advise both newcomers and experienced observers of methods, activities, resources etc ;
  • to coordinate the projects of the section, in co-operation with other sections (when appropriate);
  • promote Deep Sky observing in general.


Any member of the BAA or member of an affiliated society can join the section, and will receive the occasional Newsletter as it is published. The frequency of issues depend on the need to communicate information, and upon material received, but three issues per year are planned. Anyone interested in joining the section should contact the Director, but BAA members who do not wish to join the section are still very welcome to submit observations and other written material. 


The Deep Sky Section holds an annual meeting usually in March.

Past Directors

  • Ron Arbour 1981-1983
  • John Lewis 1983-1985
  • Denis Buczynski 1985 – 1987
  • Ron Arbour 1987-1987
  • Martin Ratcliffe 1988-1990
  • Bernard Abrams 1990-1992
  • Nick Hewitt 1992-2004
  • Stewart Moore 2004-2013
  • Callum Potter 2013-date


The British Astronomical Association supports amateur astronomers around the UK and the rest of the world. Find out more about the BAA or join us.