If you attended an event at the Lennox & Addington Dark Sky Viewing Area in 2016, you've met Joe Gilker.

You many not have been able to actually see him (after all, it IS dark), but he was the one with the laser pointer familiarizing you with the night sky and who let you peek through his telescope at some celestial wonders above.

Get to know Joe a little better by reading his bio below...

Joe Gilker grew up in a small mining town in the sub-arctic tundra of northern Quebec where dark skies and frequent aurorae were his inspiration later in life to pursue amateur astronomy and astrophotography as hobbies. While always having the sky and stars as an interest, Joe only got actively involved in astronomy in 2000 after looking through a friend’s telescope for the first time. He purchased copies of NightWatch: A Practical Guide to Viewing the Universe and The Universe and Beyond by L&A County resident Terence Dickinson, which served as a launch pad that put him on his current journey.

Largely self-taught in astrophotography, he’s been practicing his craft relentlessly whenever possible. On most dark, clear nights from spring to fall, he can be found at the Lennox & Addington Dark Sky Viewing Area with his mobile observatory doing deep sky imaging, or taking landscape photographs with the starry night sky  as a backdrop. Joe also writes the Dark Arts Astrophotography blog which chronicles his experience as an astrophotographer and provides tutorials and reviews geared at novices. Several of his articles, reviews and photos have been published in Amateur Astrophotography Magazine, a UK-based publication. His photos have also been published in the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada's journal, and the book 100 Nature Hot Spots in Ontario. In 2015, he submitted the winning entry in the Lennox and Addington County Shoot The Stars Night Sky Photography contest.

Joe Gilker is back again for 2017 and will be leading our stargazing evenings, which start on May 26th & 27th.

For more about the Lennox & Addington Dark Sky Viewing Area visit www.DarkSkyViewing.com.