Sirius Travel Inc. is owned
and operated by astronomers whose specialties include solar astronomy,
stellar and planetary evolution, galactic astronomy, cosmology, X-ray
astronomy, astrophotography, and archaeoastronomy. When we are not leading
excursions to interesting astronomical sites in the U.S. or around the
world, we pursue observing time, write papers, and teach astronomy. Based
in Boulder, Colorado, Sirius Travel is influenced by and ideally situated
to access the rich astronomical environment, both ancient and modern,
of the north american southwest.
Alten Sahami, M.S. is an alumna of the University of Colorado astrophysics
program. Over the years she has taught numerous astronomy courses, worked
as a solar observer at Mt. Wilson Observatory, worked as a tour guide
at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, researched and discovered more
than 40 new astronomical objects (Herbig-Haro objects), launched UV telescope
payloads on rockets from the outback of Australia, and spent countless
long cold nights at telescopes observing everything from geosynchronous
satellites to star formation regions. Currently, Vicky leads tours to
see total solar eclipses and astronomical sites. Tours that she
has led include Venezuela (1996), Turkey (1999 and 2006), the Australian Outback (2002), Mongolia (2008), China (2009), Easter Island (2010) and the American Southwest tour. When she is not leading tours, Vicky teaches courses at local universities and Planetariums and gives invited lectures. She is currently teaching General Astronomy at the Metropolitan State College of Denver.
Sahami, Ph.D. is a professor of physics at the
Metropolitan State College of Denver
(MSCD) and is a researcher at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Kamran recently earned
the prestigious Annual Faculty Senate Teaching Excellence Award at MSCD and is currently a principal investigator
on an NSF grant studying the effects of an immersive environment on teaching
undergraduate astronomy. He has spent many years teaching physics at the college level,
has co-authored a teacher’s guide to undergraduate astronomy, and enjoys photographing
astronomical objects. Currently Kamran's research is focused on studying the effects of an
immersive environment in the classroom and whether information retention increases for the
students with its use. Kamran has participated in leading Sirius Travel tours to the
American Southwest, Australia
(2002), China (2009), and has explored many astronomical sites in South America, Mexico, and Europe.
He will be leading Sirius's annual stargazing tour to Easter Island in 2011.
Ralph Shuping, Ph.D.
is currently a staff scientist for the
Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) -- a telescope in a Boeing 747 under development
at NASA Ames Research Center. His research interests include the
physics and chemistry of the interstellar medium, star formation, and
astrobiology. He has used some of the most advanced telescopes in the
world at Kitt Peak (Arizona), Mauna Kea (Hawai'i), and Cerro Tololo
(Chile). Ralph has also taught undergraduate astronomy and
moonlighted in primary and high school class rooms. When not working
on astronomy, Ralph enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing, and surfing
with his family.
Ralph was a leader on the eclipse tours to Turkey in August, 1999
and March, 2006. He currently plans to participate in leading upcoming Sirius
eclipse tours as his schedule permits.
Chun Yu, Ph.D is an astronomer at the Denver Museum of Nature and
Science (DMNS), who works on developing scientific visualizations
and enhancing simulation software, performing educational research
using immersive virtual environments, and creating new planetarium
shows. He is a leading member of the "fulldome" community of
digital planetarium operators, researchers, and artists who are
actively evolving the role and definition of planetariums into the
new century. This latter work at DMNS includes helping to develop
new visitor programs that tap not only the space sciences, but also
non-astronomical topics and multimedia performaces with musicians
and video artists. His previous research was primarily on
observational star formation, specifically studying outflows from
protostars. He has been involved in observational programs using the
Hubble Space Telescope, as well as ground-based optical, infrared,
and radio observatories around the world. Ka Chun participated in leading Sirius Travel's eclipse tour to China (2009).
Trina Ray, M.S. started her career at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory with a bang. Her first and still favorite experience was working on the Voyager Neptune Encounter in August of 1989. She currently splits her time between management and the Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn. For Cassini, Trina is the co-chair of the Titan Orbiter Science Team (TOST) where she helps coordinate the Titan science opportunities for the Prime, Equinox, and hopefully the extended, extended Cassini Missions.
Trina received her Bachelor's degree in Physics from California State University, Northridge, and her master's degree in Astronomy from San Diego State University, where her research specialty was Planetary Nebulae. She is an active public speaker for NASA, JPL, and Cassini and a founding member of the Cassini Virtual Singers: a group of project staff that rewrites lyrics to popular melodies and performs at various Project and Laboratory functions. Trina is also a figure skating fanatic, traveling to the U.S. Figure Skating Championships every year. She has recently become involved in the skeptic movement, has befriended a stray cat, and is a long time volunteer for Recording for the Blind and Dyslectic. Trina was a leader on Sirius Travel's eclipse tour to China (2009) and is currently planning to participate in leading Sirius's upcoming eclipse tour to Australia (2012).