XAS, the first flight

"To confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit."

To emulate the above words, the Xaverian Astronomical Society (XAS) was inaugurated on the 3rd of September, 2019. Many historians consider astronomy to be the oldest science and it is only befitting that our prestigious College has a society to nurture and forge ahead in this field.

After being dormant for more than a year due to the pandemic, the Society is once again in action with the support and blessings of our Father Principal, Rev. Dr. Dominic Savio SJ. The Society is headed by the Professors in-charge, Dr. Shibaji Banerjee, Dr. Suparna Roychowdhury, and Secretary Shalini Kundu. The Society comprises students across various departments working in unison for its success.

XAS is proud to be associated with the Father Eugene Lafont Observatory (FELO), India’s largest active observatory on any educational platform with Father Principal being the director, Dr. Shibaji Banerjee being the assistant director, and Mr. Bappaditya Manna the Technical Officer. At FELO, we have a 14-inch Celestron CGE Pro reflecting telescope on German equatorial mount for stellar observations equipped with photometer and spectrograph.

Before the pandemic, the Society’s social outreach programmes were in collaboration with NSS, whereby models of the solar system, as well as astrophysics research methodology, were demonstrated to high school students. This also included an exhibition visit to Fr. Eugene Lafont Observatory. During the pandemic, we had an online academic discourse through a seminar cum poster presentation competition titled "A slice of heaven - rising above the pandemic" and a seminar by Dr. Sayan Basu.

The Society’s first event post-pandemic was in collaboration with the Department of Physics - ‘Observation of Jupiter’s closest approach’ on the 26th of September, 2022. Some of the students from the department had stayed back after College at FELO for the event but due to unavoidable weather conditions, the event had to be called off.

On 19th November, the society will be formally inaugurated for the new academic session. The inaugural seminar will be delivered by the very eminent Dr. Debiprosad Duari, Director of the Institute of Astronomy Space and Earth Science.