Carolyn S. Shoemaker

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Carolyn S. Shoemaker
Carolyn Jean Spellmann

(1929-06-24)June 24, 1929
DiedAugust 13, 2021(2021-08-13) (aged 92)
Alma materCalifornia State University, Chico
Known forco-discoverer of Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9
Spouse(s)Eugene Shoemaker 1951–1997 (his death)
AwardsJames Craig Watson Medal (1998)
National Aeronautics and Space Administration,
Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal
Rittenhouse Medal (1988)
Scientist of the Year Award (1995)
Scientific career
InstitutionsCalifornia Institute of Technology
Palomar Observatory, California

Carolyn Jean Spellmann Shoemaker (June 24, 1929 – August 13, 2021) was an American astronomer. She was a co-discoverer of Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9.[1] She held the record for most comets discovered by a single person.[2]

Personal life[change | change source]

Shoemaker was born Carolyn Jean Spellmann in Gallup, New Mexico, United States.[2] She was the widow of Eugene Shoemaker, a planetary scientist.[2] They were married from 1951 until his death in 1997.

Shoemaker died on August 13, 2021 in Flagstaff, Arizona at the age of 92.[3][4] The cause of death was health problems caused by a fall.[5]

Career[change | change source]

Shoemaker started her astronomical career in 1980, searching for Earth-crossing asteroids and comets at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, and the Palomar Observatory, San Diego, California.[6]

As of 2002, Shoemaker had discovered 32 comets and over 300 asteroids (counting the as-yet unnumbered ones).[2][6]

References[change | change source]

  1. Mestel, Rosie (9 July 1994). "Carolyn Shoemaker and 'Her Comet'". New Scientist. Vol. 143, no. 1933. p. 23.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Carolyn Shoemaker". Astrogeology Science Center. USGS.
  3. "American Astronomer Carolyn Shoemaker's Death at 92". US Day News. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  4. FELDMANN, Jean-Baptiste (2021-08-15). "Carolyn Shoemaker a rejoint son mari dans les étoiles". CIELMANIA : le blog de Jean-Baptiste FELDMANN, photographe du ciel (in French). Retrieved 2021-08-16.
  5. Traub, Alex (September 1, 2021). "Carolyn Shoemaker, Hunter of Comets and Asteroids, Dies at 92". The New York Times. Retrieved September 3, 2021.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "She's Looking Out for Us". Explorer. American Association of Petroleum Geologists. May 2001.

Other websites[change | change source]