Carolyn Shoemaker

Carolyn Shoemaker

Institute Advisor

Asteroid Institute

Profile

Carolyn Shoemaker is an American astronomer and the co-discoverer of Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9. She holds the record for most comets discovered by an individual. Shoemaker started her astronomical career in 1980, searching for Earth-crossing asteroids and comets at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and the Palomar Observatory.In the 1980’s and 1990’s, Shoemaker used film taken by the wide-field telescope at the Palomar Observatory, combined with a stereoscope, to find objects that moved against the background of fixed stars. As of 2002, Shoemaker had discovered 32 comets and more than 800 asteroids (counting the as-yet unnumbered ones).