CShoemaker

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"Become as broad as possible in your astronomical interests and become proficient in the tools you will need...If you know your subject and are willing to work hard, you will be accepted."
Carolyn Shoemaker
Advice to aspiring female astronomers

Carolyn Shoemaker - the comet hunter

Carolyn Shoemaker holds the distinction of discovering more comets than anyone alive with 32 new comets to her credit. Her discoveries were made during the Palomar Asteroid and Comet Survey. With new technologies now searching for these elusive objects, she will probably retain that distinction for years to come.

Comets are named after their discoverers. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is the organization in charge of naming celestial objects.

In 1995, the IAU’s Minor Planet Center adopted new rules for naming comets. Key points are:

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Comets with a “P” are periodic, with orbits less than 200 years

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Comets with a  “C” are those “which a meaningful orbit can not be computed"

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Comets with a “D” indicates a comet “that no longer exists or is deemed to have disappeared" (see #29 in table below)

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The year of discovery is also indicated, as is the month

For more information on the nomenclature of these celestial snowballs, visit the IAU site.

In the table below, the new nomenclature for Carolyn’s comets is listed in the two far right columns. 

-Debra L. Davis

Carolyn's Comets

1.

1983 XV

1983p

Shoemaker

C/1983

R1

2.

1984 XV

1984r

Shoemaker

C/1984

U1

3.

1984 XVI

1984q

P/Shoemaker 1

0102P/1984

S2

4.

1984 XVII

1984u

P/Shoemaker-LINEAR

0146P/1984

W1

5.

1985 II

1984s

Shoemaker

C/1984

U2

6.

1985 XII

1984f

Shoemaker

C/1984

K1

7.

1985 XVIII

1986a

P/Shoemaker 3

P/1986

A1

8.

1986 IV

1986b

Shoemaker

C/1986

E1

9.

1986 XIV

1987o

Shoemaker

C/1986

H1

10.

1987 IV

1988b

Shoemaker

C/1988

B1

11.

1988 II

1987g1

Jensen-Shoemaker

C/1987

W3

12.

1988 III

1988g

Shoemaker-Holt

C/1988

J1

13.

1988 VII

1987z

P/Shoemaker-Holt 1

0128P/1987

U1

14.

1988 XI

1989j

P/Shoemaker-Holt 2

0121P/1989

E2

15.

1988 XXI

1989f

Shoemaker

C/1989

A6

16.

1989 III

1989e

Shoemaker

C/1989

A5

17.

1989 V

1988h

Shoemaker-Holt-Rodriquez

C/1988

L1

18.

1990 XII

1991f

P/Shoemaker-Levy 4

0118P/1991

C2

19.

1990 XV

1990o

P/Shoemaker-Levy 1

P/1990

V1

20.

1990 XVI

1990p

P/Shoemaker-Levy 2

0137P/1990

UL3

21.

1990 XXVII

1991e

P/Shoemaker-Levy 3

1029P/1991

C1

22.

1991 XVIII

1991b1

P/Shoemaker-Levy 6

P/1991

V1

23.

1991 XIX

1991d1

P/Shoemaker-Levy 7

0138P/1991

V2

24.

1991 XXII

1991z

P/Shoemaker-Levy 5

0145P/1991

T1

25.

1991 XXIV

1991d

Shoemaker-Levy

C/1991

B1

26.

1992 XIX

1991a1

Shoemaker-Levy

C/1991

T2

27.

1992 XV

1992f

P/Shoemaker-Levy 8

0135P/1992

G2

28.

1993 VI

1992y

Shoemaker

C/1992

U1

29.

1994 X

1993e

P/Shoemaker-Levy 9

D/1993

F2

30.

1994 IV

1993h

Shoemaker-Levy

C1993

K1

31.

1994 XIV

1994d

Shoemaker-Levy

C1994

E2

32.

1994 XXVIII

1994k

P/Shoemaker 4

P/1994

J3

To read more about Carolyn Shoemaker's life, order the Winter 2000 back issue of theWoman Astronomer.

Click here to order

Links on the Web

Surprisingly, there are few Web sites specifically on Carolyn Shoemaker. Here are three links we did find.

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The History of Women in Astronomy - Short biography on Carolyn

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Chico University - Carolyn's alma mater

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JPL NASA's Comet Team Biographies - Another short biography on Carolyn

Listen to Carolyn Shoemaker on the Web!
Listen to the Web edition of the March 5, 2002 radio show of "Let's Talk Stars. " Hosts David and Wendee Levy talk with guest Carolyn Shoemaker about astronomy, S-L/9, and their current observing sessions near Tucson, Arizona.

Click here to listen

Your favorite search engine will find lots of sites on her husband, Eugene, and on comet Shoemaker-Levy/9.

 

Updated 01.01.2008
theWoman Astronomer © 2001-2008

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