Aleix Roig Mateu
I am Aleix Roig. I live in Prades (Tarragona, Catalonia – Spain) where I have the Astrocat Observatory. I work in astronomy management and outreach at Parc Astronòmic Muntanyes de Prades @parcastroprades and Mizar Xperience @mizarxp . Our project focuses on astrotourism and the protection of the dark sky.
THE BEGINNING OF A PASSION
My interest in astronomy started at an early age with a small telescope that my grandfather gave to me. In 1995 I became member of the Agrupació Astronòmica de Sabadell. Thanks to this organization I was able to introduce myself in the fascinating world of astronomy. At the age of 15 (1994-1995) I built my first “serious” telescope, a Newtonian 260mm f/5 with dobsonian mount and J.Costas optics. With this rudimentary equipment, the following years, I was able to be very active in visual observation.
My first contact into the world of astrophotography began in the late 90’s with the approach to the Earth of the two spectacular comets, Hyakutake (1996) and Hale-Bopp (1997). Pictures taken at that time, using analogical photography without any tracking system, opened my eyes to a new world of possibilities.
I started studying the degree of physics at the University of Barcelona (late 90’s). But my interest in education opened me a new horizon and I continued studying the primary education teacher 10 degree. I also finished a second degree on Sports Sciences. After a few years working as a teacher I studied a Master’s degree in the Management and Direction of Teaching Centers. I have been working as a teacher of Science (among other subjects) and as a head teacher in primary education in a 0-18 years school in Mataró, the Escola GEM. Since 2018 I live and work in Prades (Tarragona) in astronomy management and outreach at the Parc Astronòmic Muntanyes de Prades. I am a Starlight Guide and also work as a teacher for the Fundación Starlight (Canary Islands). In 2020 I finished my MBA Master at EADA Business School (Barcelona).
I collaborate with IAC (Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias) researchers in PRO-AM projects such as the “A 100h imaging of M101 with a small telescope: reaching the limits of amateur telescopes for low surface brightness science”. Raúl Infante Sáinz, Dr. Ignacio Trujillo & Aleix Roig (IAC; Parc Astronòmic Muntanyes de Prades, Spain).
A NEW STEP: ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY
In 2013 I restarted my observations and my astrophotography activity. Since then I’ve had several different astrophotography setups.
In 2021 I started using a dual rig setup on my Mesu 200 mount. The two imaging trains are composed by diferents lens and cameras as it follows.
LATEST UPDATE – November 2021 – FSQ’s duet:
-FSQ 106 EDX4 + ASI2600MM + 7 pos EFW 36mm + OAG + LRGB Astrodon filters + Ha 3nm Antlia filter
-FSQ85 + ASI294MM + 7 pos EFW 36mm + New Baader CMOS dedicated filters LRGB Ha [OIII] [SII]
April 2021 – Widefield dual rig:
-FSQ 85 + ASI294MM + 8pos EFW + Baader filters
-Sigma Art85 + ASI2600MM + 7 pos EFW + LRGB Astrodon filters + Ha 3nm Antlia filter
All this setup is sheltered in the Astrocat Observatory (at my home in Prades, Tarragona). All the equipment is controlled by the software Sequence Generator Pro (SGP).
I take images of the night sky from the town of Prades (Tarragona). Located in the south of Catalonia (150km south of Barcelona), among the massifs of Serra de Montsant and Muntanyes de Prades, at a height of 950m, it becomes a privileged place for night sky observation due to its relatively low light pollution and altitude. The average darkness in my observatory is around 20,80-21,20 mag/arcsec2 becoming a Bortle 4 location.
PARC ASTRONÒMIC MUNTANYES DE PRADES
By the end of 2015 we started a series of contacts with the Ajuntament de Prades (city council) to create an astronomy outreach program. This became a reality the summer 2020 by the aperture of the Visitors center in the center of the Prades village. In the near horizon we are working towards the creation of a professional astronomical observatory that will be located in one of the best locations of the Iberian Peninsula, at the Pla de la Guàrdia. This perfect spot has an average darkness around 21.40 mag/arcsec2 and an average seeing of 1.0 to 1.5 arcsec.
In 2021 more than 20 municipalities have agreed to protect its dark skies by law. And have became a new Starlight Tourist Destination the “Muntanyes de Prades i Serra de Montsant” certified by the international Fundación Starlight. To stay updated about all the news you can follow us at @parcastroprades www.parcastronomicprades.cat
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