This was originally posted on my website here but as my business has grown and I've added more bios to that page I feel like it's no longer fitting to have such a long life story posted there (also kinda embarrassed any time someone reads the whole thing and says something like "MOOOON" to me)
Hey there I'm Luke! I'm so glad you're here on my site reading about me! I have a degree in astrophysics, over 8 years experience in educational astronomy and I have been running AstroTours.org for over three years now. I was born in Denver Colorado and have been amazed with the Rocky Mountains' sky my whole life. One of my father's favorite stories from my infancy is when he took me outside on a full moon night and I pointed up at the moon and said "ball". My father got real tickled by this and said "Very good Luke! That is a ball, we call that ball the Moon!" to which I said "MOOOOOOOOOON!". some time later I hadn't seen the moon in a while so I came to my father distressed saying "MOOOON gone gone" and doing a gesture that usually meant I was looking for food. My father laughed and showed me the moon again later that day. I've owned a few telescopes but still my favorite one was given to me by my grandfather when I was in middle school. It is a 4 inch Mak-Cassegrain telescope, it's very portable so I've taken it everywhere with me and if you come on a tour with me I'll show you how to use it and learn the sky with it as I did. After graduating from high school I took a year to work on a US Forest Service wild land fire hand crew which gave me the opportunity to go to remote places all over the United States and sleep under some really dark skies. Upon completion of my season on the hand crew, I was offered a job as a fire lookout. Stationed in the forest on a mountain outside of Lake Tahoe with large binoculars! I would use the binoculars to spot fires during the day and look at the skies at night.
I went on to study physics at the University of Colorado. After visiting Volcanoes National Park and the Mauna Kea Observatory in Hawaii, I was inspired by the incredible night skies to add astrophysics and geophysics to my degree.
I worked a few odd jobs while studying, such as spending a summer on a commercial tuna fishing vessel off the coast of Oregon. This work was dependent on the tides and required me to get familiar with the phases of the moon.
During the school year I would volunteer at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science where I ran telescopes for solar observing and special events. I joined a club that met weekly to learn how to use the planetarium and develop content to be shown in the planetarium. I graduated in 2016 with a major in physics and a minor in astrophysics and geophysics. I completed an independent study in quasar research and a senior project using magnetism to launch payloads in to space. After graduation I went to Australia on a work visa and worked odd jobs all around the continent. My two favourite jobs being a tour guide for "Space Gandalf" at Astro Tours Broome (AstroTours.net) and an astronomer at the Gravity Discovery Centre in Perth WA (gravitycentre.com.au). Both of these jobs required me to showcase the wonders of the night sky to tour groups.
When my visa expired in Australia and I had to return to America and looked all over for a similar job here. I quickly realized that nothing similar exists in Colorado which lead me to create AstroTours.org! I'm so very excited to see what comes next and what this business teaches me!
I look forward to seeing you on one of my tours!
Book a tour today at AstroTours.org/booking