ASTRONOMICA is a group of students and staff of the Physics & Electronics department of St. Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad which does various activities related to Astronomy. The club organizes different activities like Astronight (a fun-filled night of star-gazing), telescope handling sessions, lectures, and online webinar sessions on astrophysics, observational, and theoretical astronomy.
Our basic aim is to develop scientific temperament among students and motivate them towards Astronomy. This club aims to spread knowledge about astronomy among students in a simple yet interactive way such that students can understand the basic concepts of astronomy, astrophysics, and cosmology.
Jupiter-Venus Conjunction and Planet Parade
The Conjunction is a beautiful celestial event where two planets appear to meet at a point or pass through a point as observed from earth. The conjunction that took place on 30th April and 1st May 2022, was between Venus and Jupiter. This conjunction was observed from 27th April 2022 but they were closest to each other where Venus was at 0.2 degrees south of Jupiter on the early morning of 30th April 2022.
The Venus-Jupiter conjunction happens about once a year, but this year the two planets appeared significantly closer than they usually do and the last time the two planets were closer than this year’s conjunction was August 2016, although it was more difficult to see since they were close to the sun. Along with this conjunction, Saturn and Mars were also lined up in a row in the same region of the sky. Such an alignment of planets is referred to as Planet Parade.
ASTRONOMICA (Astronomy Club of Physics and Electronics Department of St. Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad) organized an event titled “Jupiter – Venus Conjunction and Planet Parade” for observing this stunning event on 1st May 2022 at the Cricket ground of St. Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad. Two telescopes were assembled at the venue under the guidance of Mr. Heet Joshi, a research fellow from the college. The event started around 4:00 a.m. and a brief introduction of the event was given by Kishan Malaviya.
Participants were invited to see the conjunction where they were able to see the 4 largest moons of the Jupiter as well. Additionally, Saturn was also observed through one of the telescopes. The event finished off on a great note at 6:00 a.m.
This excellent event was held under the supervision of Dr. Rajesh Iyer (Head of Physics and Electronics Department), Dr. Shailesh Patel (Coordinator ASTRONOMICA Club), Dr. Dhawal Bhatt (Coordinator of ASTRONOMICA Club) and Mr. Heet Joshi and special thanks to our Principal Dr.(Fr.) Lancelot D’Cruz for allowing us to organize this event in college.
The whole team of ASTRONOMICA organized this event with the Covid protocols and the integrity of the college premise being taken into account. Around 40+ attendees and team members witnessed this event offline.