|May 10, 2001
Volume 31 Number 16
|A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico|
Astrogeologist and Inventor/Talk Show Host to Speak at Graduation
Carolyn S. Shoemaker
Carolyn Spellman Shoemaker is the leading comet discoverer of the 20th century. She has achieved worldwide recognition in her field as a planetary astronomer with the discovery of 800 asteroids and 32 comets, more than twice as many as any other woman in the history of astronomy.
After attending Chico High, she attended Chico State College, graduating cum laude with a degree in history. A year later, she received a master's and a teaching credential from Chico State.
Shoemaker has been a visiting scientist at the Branch of Astrogeology at the U.S. Geological Survey in Flagstaff, Arizona, since 1980. She received an honorary doctorate of science from Northern Arizona University, where she is now a research professor of astronomy. She is also a staff member at Lowell Observatory. She developed photographic techniques for use with the Palomar Schmidt telescope that greatly facilitate the detection of fast-moving asteroids.
Her most significant discovery (with husband, Eugene, and David Levy) was of the Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, which collided with Jupiter in 1994.
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