Classifieds powered by Gulf News

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.

Other important events:

1812 Britain, by Treaty of Orebro, joins Sweden and Russia against France.

1872 Britain introduces voting by secret ballot.

1877 American inventor Thomas Edison invents the carbon telephone transmitter.

1923 British Matrimonial Causes Act gives women equality in divorce suits.

1932 US and Canada sign a treaty to develop St Lawrence Seaway.

1934 British King George V opens the Mersey Tunnel, the longest underwater tunnel at the time.

1966 Nasa launches its Gemini 10 manned spacecraft.

1969 John Fairfax of England becomes the first person to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean as he arrives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

1972 Cairo orders Soviet Union to withdraw military advisers stationed in Egypt.

1977 Vietnam becomes a member of United Nations.

1980 India launches its first satellite, Rohini.

1988 Iran announces it has accepted a Security Council ceasefire call in its eight- year-old war with Iraq.

1991 Yugoslavia’s federal presidency decides to withdraw all troops from secessionist republic of Slovenia.

1993 Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigns and dissolves Parliament.

1998 South African President Nelson Mandela celebrates his 80th birthday by marrying Graca Machel.

2000 Alex Salmond resigns as leader of the Scottish National Party.

2001 Workers bring much of Argentina’s business activity to a halt with a nationwide strike prompted by government spending cuts.

2002 A.P.J. Abdul Kalam is elected Indian president.

2003 Dubai Government issues a decree setting up the Dubai Media Foundation.

2005 The first successful robot camel jockey race in the world is introduced in the UAE.

2007 An underground steam pipe explosion tears through a Manhattan street near Grand Central Terminal, killing one person.

2008 Qatar becomes the biggest investor in Barclays.

2010 An express train ploughs through a stationary train at a station in West Bengal, India, killing 61 people.

2012 Bollywood superstar Rajesh Khanna dies at the age of 69 in his home in Mumbai.

2013 Detriot files the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history.

2015 A car bombing in a crowded market in the eastern Iraqi province of Diyala kills at least 120 people.