Spotlight on Scientists: Eugene Shoemaker

(1928-1997)

Wait, who?

DUDE. He FOUNDED the field of ASTROGEOLOGY. He was going to go to the MOON but got sick so you know what happened instead? HE’S BURIED ON THE MOON.

Nothing else really needs to be said due to the man being BURIED ON THE MOTHERFLIPPIN’ MOON.

So what did he do?

Impact crater Tycho on the Moon

He did a bunch of research that allowed us to know that the extinction of the dinosaurs was due to a giant asteroid/comet/other foreign body. He discovered heaps of Earth orbit-crossing asteroids, AND craters, AND a comet. The comet he discovered? It impacted Jupiter, the first example of a comet hitting a planet EVER. He’s been published in Science WAY over 10 times.

Before he did stuff, everyone thought that impact craters like the one below were due to extinct volcanoes. It seems crazy to us now, but this dude is in a large part HOW WE KNOW STUFF ABOUT ASTEROIDS and HOW THEY HIT THE EARTH.

And, I mean, he’s buried on the moon (the only person buried on the moon to date) in a capsule inscribed with pictures of comets, the Barringer crater (a crater in Arizona, which he confirmed was actually a crater from an impact rather than a volcanic explosion) and a quote from Romeo and Juliet.

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