• Luke

AstroTours.org is committed to becoming an anti-racist organization. We mourn the murder of George Floyd and all victims of racial injustice and police brutality. Black Lives Matter. We stand in solidarity with protests across the nation and globally calling for justice and accountability.



Juneteenth parade Denver

The Night Sky is a common heritage of all cultures and peoples. The stars have played an integral part throughout history in both guiding oppressors to the lands of peaceful peoples (from Columbus to Cook) and in guiding oppressed peoples to liberation (from the underground railroad to the Jews of Egypt). We try to include these stories but In all sincerity, the current situation made us take a hard look at the voices within our organization and we realized that we have a lot of work to do.


We are a white-led organization with a white staff, and have a majority-white audience. We conduct tours upon the occupied lands of the Southern Arapaho people. We are a part of the scientific community that has been and continues to be exploitative of people of color. We're also part of an education system that has centered and valued the contributions and expertise of white people above those of Black people and people of color. Beyond this, we are living through a global pandemic that is having an outsized impact on people of color.


AstroTours.org has not been exempt from these patterns of injustice, and in fact we have benefited from our position of privilege. We acknowledge this, and know that we have much work to do. We also acknowledge that this statement itself is late in coming, and is insufficient on its own.


We are learning and listening, with particular attention to Black, Indigenous, People of Color voices in our community. We are working on creating pathways forward to further center and uplift these voices as we work towards becoming an anti-racist organization.

  • Luke

Our astronomy tours at the boulder valley ranch trailhead are currently opening back up! June 14th will mark our first tour since the shutdown.

We are looking to phase back into business slowly making sure we do so safely and adhering to Colorado’s “safer at home order” Astro Tours is a much lower risk activity than most events and public spaces that are currently being opened.


Our tours take place outside with plenty of room to distance. There is no contact between guests as we are adamant that no one touches the delicate equipment and telescopes. We provide hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes on all of our tours which guests are requested to use frequently.


We are introducing steps beyond those listed above to help protect our guests and staff such as:

  • We will no longer serve Tea or Cookies on the tour instead offering pre packaged granola bars and chips.

  • We are limiting the numbers of guests to fewer than 10 people every tour.

  • We disinfect all seats and equipment before and after tours.

  • We always have offered refunds/free-cancellations for any reason but, we are taking this further by refunding and telling guests not to come if they have been in contact with anyone who was sick or are feeling sick themselves. We are offering free cancellations to these people as well as: anyone who has changed travel plans/amino compromised/do not feel safe attending/or for any reason at all.

  • We are spacing telescopes and chairs further apart and setting out extra chairs so groups can separate with a few chairs between them.

  • We strongly encourage all guests to wear a mask at all times and to take all precautions possible to maintain theirs and everyone else's health and safety.


We will continue these and any other practices recommended by the city, state, CDC, staff, and guests for as long as necessary to be sure that COVID is not spreading at our tours.


For more information on protecting yourself and others please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html


For Information specific to boulder and what our community is doing to help please visit:

https://bouldercolorado.gov/coronavirus

  • Luke


Hope everyone had an amazing holiday season and are geared up to have a happy new year! I'm excited that I have gotten the opportunity to put up some of my paintings at the Market on Laimer Square. If you're free New Years Day and want to come down to the market around 6p I'll be there with a cheese plate and maybe some wine showing my work. If not it will be up for the next 2 months so swing by to check them out before the end of February.


Here are some of my works that will be on display and for sale at the Market. Most of the pictures do not do the real thing justice as I use metallic and neon paints which play with the light which isn't conveyed on a screen as well as in person.



Grand Planetary Spring

Grand Planetary Spring

Here the Grand Prismatic Spring of Yellowstone National Park (the largest hot spring in the United States) is re-imagined as a planetary nebula (such as the Ring Nebula)



Grand Prismatic Spring M57 - Ring Nebula



Wanderlust

Wanderlust

In film little green men often forcibly take unsuspecting folks and share with them the secrets of the universe. In my experience the secrets of the universe are rarely forced upon you. Here a path has been extended to you offering a wondrous journey for those brave enough to take it. Who knows what’s at the end, maybe there is no end and the path is an infinity symbol with an illusion of being broken. If you tilt your head you might find the path to be my initials L.H.



Night Dive at Koh Ha

Night Dive at Koh Ha

Koh Ha (meaning 5 islands) is a set of tropical islands in the Andaman Sea. The islands protected by Thailand as a National Marine Park offering amazing diving and snorkeling opportunities. The Long-tail boat is the most popular boat of Thailand. While there are many differences among all of the boats in Thailand, they all share the decorations on the bow of the boats. This area has usually been blessed by a Buddhist monk and will be covered in ribbon and hanging garlands of flowers as an offering to Mae Yanang, the goddess of safe journey, for good luck and protection



Croydon

Croydon

Many Aboriginal constellations focus on the dark parts between the stars (example: ‘the Emu in the Sky’) rather than connecting the stars as European explorers did (example: the southern cross). Using the style of Indigenous rock painting particularly stencil art, using the motif of a hand print. Here we have a handprint in the sky. Within the handprint is a tiny paw print representing Croydon a kitten I saved from the Australian outback (or rather I saved the outback from the kitten as cats are invasive and devastating to Australia's ecosystem).



Christmas Comet

Christmas Comet

As you might have seen in my last blog post Comet 46P/Wirtanen a green comet that graced our skies, peaking on December 16th, became known to many as the x-mas comet because of the proximity to the holidays. I was lucky enough to get a photo of it (shown here) and track it down in a telescope during one of my tours. Here Santa is chasing it as he makes his deliveries.



One of my photos of the x-mas comet. you might notice the head of Taurus in the bottom left hand corner

Cactus at Moonrise

Cactus at Moonrise

My take on Bob Ross’s Joy of Painting S8E10 “Cactus at Sunset” I have changed the sunset to a moonrise (making the perspective looking east rather than west, or maybe my happy little world spins the other direction). Many hidden treasures can be found by inspecting this painting with different lighting (e.g. a black light)



The Rainbow Connection

The Rainbow Connection

Why are there so many paintings with rainbows and what's on the other side? From the mountains to the stars many rainbows can be found in this painting. Rainbows are visions, but only illusions, and rainbows have nothing to hide. Like a prism the white path in this painting is bringing out all of the vibrant colors of the landscape. What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing and what do we think we might see? Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection The lovers, the dreamers and me


Hope to see you there! As I said there will be more than this at the Market and the pictures don't pickup the metallic and neon paints well.


If you want to come to the opening I have made a facebook event with more details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/2092872241024477/