Re Gene Shoemaker

From: (Ken Edgett)
Subject: Re Gene Shoemaker
Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997 11:17:24 -0700 (MST)

Dear Mars Educators,

This is very sad news, but thought it should be shared. Many of
you will remember that Gene Shoemaker was one of the co-discoverers
of the comets that hit Jupiter 3 years ago this week.

Ken Edgett
>NEO News (7/18/97)
>I just received the shocking and tragic news of the death of Gene
>Shoemaker, the founder and leading advocate of many NEO studies.  Truly he
>is the father of our field of science.  Following is the initial notice
>posted by Sky & Telescope.
>David Morrison
>Gene Shoemaker, 1928 - 1997
>The world has lost one of its most renowned scientists with the death of
>Shoemaker at age 69.  On the afternoon of July 18th, Gene and his wife,
>were involved in a car accident in central Australia.  He was fatally injured;
>Carolyn suffered broken ribs but is expected to recover.  The pair had arrived
>in Australia just six days before to study some of the continent's numerous
>impact craters -- an annual trek Down Under that they'd made a habit in recent
>Best known for his pioneering work in elucidating the mechanics of impacts and
>in the discovery of Earth-crossing bodies, Gene gained worldwide fame in March
>1993 for his discovery, with Carolyn and colleague David Levy, of a comet that
>would strike Jupiter 16 months later. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was just one
>of the
>finds that made this husband-wife team the leading comet discoverers of this
>century. They are also credited with discovering more than 800 asteroids.  But
>the one research interest he never tired of was Meteor Crater, the
>kilometer-wide pit east of Flagstaff, Arizona.
>While still in his teens, Gene realized that someday astronauts would walk on
>the Moon, and from that point forward his whole professional life would be
>directed toward becoming one of them.  But a medical condition prevented him
>from ever being selected for the Apollo program.  "Not going to the Moon and
>banging on it with my own hammer has been the biggest disappointment in life,"
>he said last year. "But then, I probably wouldn't have gone to Palomar
>Observatory to take some 25,000 films of the night sky with Carolyn -- she
>scanned them all -- and we wouldn't have had the thrills of finding those
>things that go bump in the night."