U3A Oliva

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Astronomy Group

Group Leader: James I

Deputy Group Leader:

Email: astronomy@u3aoliva.org

When: Thursday 4:00-5:00 on the 2nd and 4th weeks of the month

Where: C.P.C. (Centro De Participación Ciudadana Pinet), c/ Eras de Juan, Oliva – map here.

Numbers Max: 10 + tutor

If you would like more details or to be to be an active participant in the group, please contact the leader via the email above.

Current Information:

The Astronomy Group will begin its fortnightly meetings at the CPC Monday 11th October 4pm.

The group is suitable for anyone who would like to know more about the stars and planets visible in the night sky. Astronomy is not as complicated as you may think and anyone can enjoy the incredible scene of a star filled sky.

If you have binoculars or a modest telescope there is so much to explore and understand. The meetings will guide you through things to see and enjoy also, further information about what they are and their mechanisms.

If you are interested in joining the group, please email the Group Leader, James.

Forthcoming things to see:

The crescent Moon will be above the extremely bright planet Venus with the orange coloured star Antares close by on evening of October 9th. Look in West a short time after sunset to see this event. Antares is the brightest star in the constellation Scorpius, the Scorpion. According to Greek Myth Orion boasted he could kill any creature on the Earth, The Goddess Artemis heard his boasting and duly sent a scorpion to attack and kill Orion. The pair are now visible in the night sky but at different times of the year, Orion in Winter and Scorpius in Summer.

October 14th. Look after dark in the South to see the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn forming an easily visible triangle. The bright object to the East (left) is Jupiter. If you have access to binoculars take a look at Jupiter and you may be able to see some of its attendant Galilean Moons, so named as they were discovered in 1610 by the Astronomer Galileo Galilei. The discovery of these moons was a major milestone in our understanding of the workings of the Solar System.

October 25th. Look to the East before Sunrise and it is possible to see the planet Mercury at Eastern Elongation, that is its greatest distance from the Sun. Mercury is the innermost planet and not easy to see as it is relatively dim and is only visible for short periods in the evening sky at dusk or morning sky before dawn. Binoculars may be needed to locate Mercury before the Sun rises and do not use them to view the Sun.

October 29th. The brilliant planet Venus reaches its maximum distance from the Sun in the evening sky, 47 degrees. 

October 31st. British Summertime Ends. 

About Our Group

Astronomy is the study of celestial objects (such as stars, planets, comets, and galaxies) and phenomena that originate outside the Earth’s atmosphere.

We will start with the basics – even just using our eyes to identify the planets and basic constellations, before moving on to the deeper stuff.

No equipment is necessary, a pair of binoculars will allow you to see new many interesting objects!


‘That’s one small step for (a) man one giant leap for mankind.  Neil Armstrong

‘Been there, done that’.  B. Aldrin.

Some interesting information~

In the early evening it is possible to locate the elusive planet Mercury which is currently positioned far below the brilliant planet Venus in the WSW. 

The later evening sky is now dominated by the bright winter constellations of Orion, Canis Major, and Taurus. These constellations are home to many interesting stars and star clusters, which are visible to the users of binoculars. The constellation Orion represents a Hunter and it is possible to view the Orion Nebula below the 3 “Belt stars”. The bright orange coloured star which marks Orion’s right shoulder is in the news as it may explode soon! The constellation Taurus is home to star clusters The Hyades and the Pleiades are interesting to view using binoculars. The constellation Canis Major, “The Greater Dog” is home to Sirius, brightest star in the evening sky. The stars of “Orion’s Belt” point directly to it and as it rises it flashes and twinkles many colours. Sirius is a nearby star just 8.6 light years distant and it has an unseen “white dwarf” companion which was worshipped by the Dogon Tribe!