Eugene M. Shoemaker (1928–1997)


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On July 18, Eugene Shoemaker died in a car crash in outback Australia, where he had been studying impact craters. His wife, Carolyn, was injured in the crash. Shoemaker was best known for the codiscovery of comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, which smashed into Jupiter in 1994. Eugene Shoemaker received AGU's Bowie Medal in 1996 for his pioneering studies of extraterrestrial objects throughout the solar system, both in space and on planetary surfaces. Called the “leading comet discoverer of this century” in the Bowie Medal citation, Shoemaker, with his wife, discovered approximately 20 comets and 800 asteroids.