Shoemaker by Levy: The Man Who Made an Impact

Shoemaker by Levy: The Man Who Made an Impact

by David H. Levy
     
 

"A match made in the heavens. David Levy, the 'patron saint' of comet hunters, is uniquely qualified to write this definitive biography of Eugene Shoemaker, the renegade geologist who first figured out that Earth moves within a shooting gallery of asteroids and comets that intermittently plunge into Earth's surface and wreak global catastrophe upon this delicate

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Overview

"A match made in the heavens. David Levy, the 'patron saint' of comet hunters, is uniquely qualified to write this definitive biography of Eugene Shoemaker, the renegade geologist who first figured out that Earth moves within a shooting gallery of asteroids and comets that intermittently plunge into Earth's surface and wreak global catastrophe upon this delicate assortment of molecules we call life."—Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director, Hayden Planetarium, Rose Center for Earth & Space

"Rarely can there have been a scientist held both in as much respect and in as much affection as Gene Shoemaker. And rarely can there have been a scientific story as inspirational as Gene's lonely and patient telescope search for comets and asteroids with his wife, Carolyn, and their friend David Levy. It was a fitting culmination to the Shoemaker legend when they discovered the spectacular train of comet fragments which crashed into Jupiter in 1994. No one is better suited to tell the story of Gene and Carolyn than David Levy, in this remarkable book."—Walter Alvarez, author of T. rex and the Crater of Doom (Princeton)

"Eugene Shoemaker was one of the leading planetary scientists since the field began half a century ago, and his life, which was fascinating indeed, should long be a topic of interest in the intellectual history of the twentieth century. As Shoemaker's collaborator in the discovery of the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, David Levy is the preeminently qualified individual to write his biography. He has accomplished the task splendidly. This biography is comprehensive, balanced between personal vignettes and scientific work, well written, fun to read, and authoritative."—Clark R. Chapman, Institute Scientist, Southwest Research Institute

"One of this century's greatest scientists, Eugene Shoemaker practically invented the field of astrogeology, performing cutting edge research on terrestrial impact cratering right up to his untimely death. Only David Levy could have written such a lucid and personal biography of this man. Moreover, he provides excellent background material to help the general reader understand the evolution of the scientific theories to which Shoemaker contributed."—Paul W. Chodas, Research Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691113258
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
11/04/2002
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.34(h) x 0.79(d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xv

Chapter 1: Of Bonding and Discovery: 1993 3

Chapter 2: Of Family and Ex: 1925-1948 14

Chapter 3: Over the Sea, Over the Sea: 1948 27

Chapter 4: Springtime, Carolyn, and the Colorado Plateau: 1948-1952 30

Chapter 5: A Revolution in Earth 44

Chapter 6: Impact! 58

Chapter 7: A Shun in the Dark: 1953-1960 69

Chapter 8: A Dream Ends, A Dream Begins: 1960-1963 81

Chapter 9: Just Passing By on My Way to the Moon: 1964-1965 92

Chapter 10: Surveyor's Golden Years: 1966-1968 101

Chapter 11: One Giant Leap: 1968-1969 113

Chapter 12: Sail Along, Silvery Moon: 1969-1970 126

Chapter 13: Chairman Gene: 1969-1972 138

Chapter 14: Shoot-out at the Moenkopi Corral: 1970-1972 151

Chapter 15: The Little Prince Revisited: 1972-1979 160

Chapter 16: A Ship Sails: 1977-1989 175

Chapter 17: Cornets and Carlyn: 1980-1995 184

Chapter 18: A Rock-Knocking Geologist: 1984-1995 197

Chapter 19: Springtime on Jupiter: 1993 213

Chapter 20: Yes, Virginia, Comets Do Hit Planets: 1994 225

Chapter 21: New Challenges: 1995-1997 241

Chapter 22: Dr. Shoemaker, I Presume: 1997 251

Epilogue 262

Notes 269

Selected Bibliography 285

Index 297

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