The Montsec Astronomical Park is located in the municipality of Àger, in the region of La Noguera, in an extraordinary location considered the best place for observing the sky in Catalonia. The low precipitation in the form of rain, the little light pollution and the height, make the Serra del Montsec the ideal place for the installation of a center of world reference in matters of astronomy.
The park brings science closer to the public to make known the greatness of a night sky with extraordinary characteristics that allows us to discover the secrets of the universe. For this reason, it is considered the most important astronomy facility in Catalonia, which also becomes a point of reference in the teaching and dissemination of the sciences of space and the universe.
L’Astronomico offers numerous activities in the middle of nature for all audiences, both day and night, aimed at universities, schools but also at a basic informative level for families, fans, etc.
The COU consists of three main structures:
The Central Building of the Center d’Observació de l’Univers hosts the interactive permanent exhibition dedicated to astronomy and space sciences. The exhibition is divided into three spaces. It begins with the reception area dedicated to the Astronomical Park and the role of astronomy in society. The second space is the Sala de l’Univers, a journey from the origin of the universe to the most recent discoveries. Finally we find an innovative space, the Starlight Room dedicated to the protection of the nocturnal environment against light pollution.
The Eye of Montsec is a unique installation in the world. It consists of a digital planetarium equipped with a 3D full dome (or complete dome) projection system that allows the recreation of both the current sky and any era, as well as the reproduction of films in full dome format that allow visitors to be shown aspects different from the purely astronomical ones, projected in a dome of 12 meters in diameter with the highest performance thanks to the active 3D system.
This equipment is also a platform for live sky observation. Its 12 m diameter dome and front wall open completely, leaving the visitor under the spectacular Montsec sky.
It is the space reserved for observing the firmament, both at night and during the day. It is made up of three buildings with astronomical domes and space for the installation of the COU’s portable telescopes.
Three seasons ago, Montsec Astronomical Park unanimously won the 2020 Starlight Award in the category of Education and Dissemination of Astronomy and the Dark Sky. An award that joins the Platinum Dark Sky ambassador category of the International Astronomical Union that he received in 2019. Additionally, the Montsec mountain range is the second place in the world to receive the double certification of Reserve and Tourist Destination Starlight in 2013, which has the endorsement of UNESCO.
The Park has wide international recognition thanks to the research carried out at the center itself. For this reason, for another season, it focuses its activity on the protection of the sky against light pollution. As a result, scientific dissemination takes advantage of the so-called “dark sky”, an exceptional and little-known natural resource, as the center of tourism that develops in the area, which translates into an increase in the economy of the region.