John Clarke

Professor, Astronomy Associate Chair, Astronomy, College of Arts & Sciences, Director, Center for Space Physics

Professor John T. Clarke obtained his Ph.D in Physics at Johns Hopkins University in 1980. His thesis was on far-ultraviolet observations of Jupiter and Saturn using the IUE satellite and a sounding rocket, including the aurora and dayglow on both planets and the Io plasma torus. He worked as a Research Physicist in the Space Sciences Lab at UC Berkeley from 1980-1984, observing X-ray sources from ground-based telescopes and finding the first evidence for aurora on Uranus. He then worked on the Space Telescope (later the Hubble Space Telescope or HST) project from 1984-1987, first as the Deputy Project Scientist at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center and then as the Advanced Instruments Project Scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center. He moved to the University of Michigan in 1987, and to Boston University in 2001. He has maintained a series of HST observations of planetary atmospheres and aurora since the 1990 launch of HST, and was on the science team for the WFPC 2 (the replacement camera that repaired the focus on HST). He also has an active sounding rocket research program, and is a Co-I on the MAVEN mission to Mars. He is best known for his HST observations of the aurora on Jupiter and Saturn, and has published more than 180 papers in refereed journals, including every planet except Mercury and the interplanetary medium.