July 18, 1997: Astronomer Shoemaker killed in outback crash

Astronomer was killed when the car in which he was travelling was in a head-on collision with another vehicle

Image Credit: Gulf News Archives
American astronomer Eugene Shoemaker. -
Gulf News

Renowned US astronomer Eugene Shoemaker, who shared discovery of the comet that crashed into Jupiter in 1994, has been killed in an outback road accident. His wife Carolyn, also an astronomer who shared in the comet discovery, was injured in the crash that occurred on a dirt road about 500km north-west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory close to the Western Australia border. Shoemaker, 69, was killed when the car in which he was travelling was in a head-on collision with another vehicle. Carolyn was been airlifted to hospital where she is in a satisfactory condition. The Shoemakers had been on a two-week working-holiday in Australia, searching for asteroid impact craters in the outback. A geologist by training, Shoemaker was also a leading expert on craters and the interplanetary collisions that caused them. Shoemaker was involved in several US space missions, including the Apollo missions to the moon. He was born on April 28 in 1928 in Los Angeles.

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