About AstroCat

This website aims to show the astronomical images that I capture from the south of Catalonia.
Each photograph is complemented by a brief description of the object and the capture details.

"Thanks for visiting this site. I hope you enjoy the images"

Aquesta pàgina web té com a objectiu poder compartir amb tots vosaltres les imatges astronòmiques que capturo des del sud de Catalunya. Cadascuna de les fotografies s'acompanya d'una breu descripció de l'objecte fotografiat així com dels detalls de la captura.

"Gràcies per visitar aquest espai. Desitjo que us agradin les imatges"

 
Astrocat OBSERVATORY
 
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My name is Aleix Roig. I am from Vilassar de Mar, but I spend half of my time in Prades (Tarragona), my home, and the place where I have the Astrocat Observatory.

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.

PROFESSIONAL PROFILE

By that time 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 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 of Teaching Centres. Nowadays I work as a teacher of Science (among other subjects) and as a headteacher in primary education in a 0-18 school in Mataró, the Escola GEM.

During the speech about "The Messier Objects Project" by ESCOLA GEM at ESA in the International Education Meeting at Leiden, Netherlands. October 2016

In our school we are commited with the sciences and we usually organize all kind of special actvities related to it: science week, eclipses observations, and the participation in international projects such as The Messier Objects Project.

ESA summer teachers workshop 2015. Noordwijk, Netherlands.

A NEW STEP: ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY

Afterseveral years of inactivity, in 2014 I restarted my observations. My new imaging setup was: a Neq6pro mount (Skywatcher) and a Newtonian telescope 200mm/1000mm (GSO). The cameras chosen were a modified Canon 450D (no IR blocking filter) for deep sky, acquired in 2016, and a 174MC ASI for planetary imaging and guiding.

In 2017 I upgraded my equipment to a Mesu200 mount, a Takahashi FSQ85 telescope and an ASI1600 MM-Cooled with ZWO 31mm filter wheel and LRGB-HSO Baader filters. Nowadays I continue using the ASI174-MC as a guiding camera together with the OAG by ZWO. All this setup is sheltered in the Astrocat Observatory that I have at home, in Prades. 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 Montsant and Prades, at a height of 950m, it becomes a privileged place for the night sky observation due to its relatively low light pollution and altitude.

I am an active member of the Agrupació Astronòmica Sabadell in which I develop the tasks of co-coordinator of the astrophotography group and I assest the educational activities. I am also member of the Agrupació Astronòmica Astrotorroja del Priorat, the biggest astronomical association in the Tarragona region.

CAMP: Centre Astronòmic Muntanyes de Prades

By the end of 2015 we started the contacts with the Ajuntament de Prades to create an astronomy outreach programme. During all the 2016 we started a serie of activities that were included in a new project, Astroprades ( www.astroprades.cat ). This project has in it's near horizon the creation of an astronomical center located in the village of Prades, the Centre Astronomic Muntanyes de Prades. It's privilieged situation, 1000m above the sea level, in a dark site quite isolated from the light pollution, in a well renowned tourist destionation, makes Prades a perfect astronomical destination.

The project will combine educational projects with catalan primary/secondary education schools, research programmes, and general astronomy outreach. It will also focus on the protection of the sorrounding environment and the improvement of the night sky conditions.

 

Location of my observation site