Hi! You have reached the home page of Maurice Clark

Sometimes I think I have one of the best jobs in the world. I teach Astronomy and Physics at University level during the day, and at night I get to study the universe in the university observatory!

Towards the end of 2000, I completed a PhD. in surface physics at Murdoch University in Perth Western Australia. My research project was to investigate the adsorption of aurocyanide onto carbon, a process used in the gold mining industry to obtain gold from gold-bearing ore. As part of this project, I used a scanning tunneling microscope to image gold atoms on the carbon surface. This was certainly a case of going from one extreme to the other:- imaging atoms by day...... and galaxies by night!!!!

In 2001 I moved to the USA to take up a 2-year position as Visiting Assistant Professor of Astronomy at Carleton College in Minnesota. Again a case of one extreme to another! From the hot sun and golden beaches of Perth, to the snow and icy winters of northern USA. After that contract ended, I had a 1-year position at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania followed by 5 and a half years at Montgomery College in Rockville, Maryland. Montgomery College was the worst. Although there was a 16" LX200 in an Ash dome, the college was less than 40km from Washington DC, so the light pollution was horrendously bad, with the naked eye limiting magnitude being around 4! :-( Excessively floodlit car parks did not help either.

Currently I am now in Texas, at Texas Tech University, and enjoying MUCH darker skies! The observatory is located some 20 minutes drive from the campus, under mag 6.7 skies. For the first time in the northern hemisphere I can easily see the Milky Way! :-) The main telescope is a very nice 20" PlaneWave Cassegrain that provides wonderful views and images.

My main research interests are in photometry of asteroids and comets, and I am concentrating most of my time at present of asteroid light curves and asteroid shape modeling. I also enjoy deep sky observing, for which I currently have a 18" dobsonian, and astrophotography, for which I use a Jagers 5" f/5 refractor mounted on a Losmandy GM8 with a Meade 3" f/15 refractor and SBIG ST-4 for guiding. My latest deep-sky project is to image all of the Herschel 400 objects with the 20" telescope.

Enjoy exploring my home page. If you like pictures of the southern skies, I am sure you will find much to interest you in the astronomy pages. I will be continuously adding new images, so keep coming back to check out the latest additions.

Astronomy pages

Asteroid Photometry

Honours Project

PhD Project