Submitted by EBriggs on Wed, 2012-05-09 10:54
Named in honor of Carolyn Spellmann Shoemaker, comet and asteroid discoverer. Shoemaker began searching for asteroids in 1980, using plates taken at the U.K. Schmidt Telescope at Siding Spring. She helped develop a new photographic survey program using the 0.46-m Schmidt camera at Palomar Mountain and a newly designed stereomicroscope, which greatly increased the efficiency of film scanning. In 1983 Shoemaker found her first near-earth asteroid, the Amor object (2299) Nefertiti, and later that year she found her first comet, 1983p. By February 1991 she had discovered 22 comets, at a rate of about one per 100 hours of scanning, and for discoveries recognized in the names of the comets she thus surpassed the tally of W. R. Brooks and moved into the all-time second place behind J.-L. Pons. Shoemaker already holds the record for finding new periodic comets: 9 by early 1991. Citation prepared by D. H. Levy and J. Mueller at the request of the discoverer.
Carolyn Shoemaker was named an Honorary Member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada on 2002-01-26.
Reference: MPC 18458