Vicent J. Martínez, full university professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Universitat de Valčncia, has won the Ciutat de Benicarló Award in the category of scientific dissemination. Martínez submitted ’Abriendo las puertas del cielo’ (Opening the gates of the sky), a work on the interesting aspects of the universe, meant for the non-specialized public.
The City Council of Benicarló promotes these awards, with the collaboration of Onada Edicions, with the aim of encouraging and publicising the science and the knowledge through dissemination works for general public. The award is in the amount of 5,000 euros.
According to the jury, ’Abriendo las puertas del cielo’ discovers the Solar System "with plenty of curiosities that will hook the reader." In the prologue, the author explains that the first part of the book is dedicated to the Earth and the Solar System, and analyses the possibility of discovering other worlds similar to Earth, the exoplanets or the search for extraterrestrial life.
The main topic of the second part is "Stellar catastrophes." Martínez points out that "our galaxy is not gentle, it is full of stellar explosions, supernovas, black holes... These are makings of a violent universe, one that passes through huge cosmic periods with calmness and tranquillity leading our ancestors to wrongly believe in the immutability of the skies."
"Measuring the universe" is the title of the third part. Here, he talks about cosmic scales, in order to understand the extension of the universe, which could be infinite.
Vicent J. Martínez is a full university professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the Universitat de Valčncia. He was the director of the Astronomical Observatory for 11 years. For his teaching activity, he was granted the Award for Teaching and Dissemination of Physics from the RSEF (Royal Spanish Society of Physics) and BBVA Foundation in 2011 and the Award for Teaching Excellence from the Board of Trustees of the University in 2016.
He is one of the founders of the Spanish Society of Astronomy. In 2017, he was chosen as the coordinator of the Astronomy Infrastructure Network (RIA) by its steering committee, the organism that regulates Spain’s unique scientific and technical facilities in astronomy.
His research is centred on the formation and the distribution of the galaxies. He has published more than 80 papers in high impact journals, with over 2,000 citations. He is also the author of university textbooks and of several books of scientific dissemination that have been distinguished with different awards.