Margaret Geller

Margaret Joan Geller ( born December 8, 1947 in Ithaca, New York, USA) is an American astrophysicist.


Margaret Geller was born as the daughter of crystallographers Seymour Geller and his wife Sarah Levine Geller. As a child she took a lively interest in mathematics. In 1970, she earned her bachelor's degree at the University of California, Berkeley. First, she wanted to specialize in Solid State Physics, Charles Kittel but advised her not to. You should rather choose something that would be in ten years in fashion when she is a fully trained scientist, for example, astrophysics or biophysics. She chose the former and earned her Masters in 1972 and three years later her Ph.D. at Princeton University in this field. From 1974 to 1976 she was a post - doctoral student at the Harvard - Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, then a Fellow at the Harvard College Observatory from 1980 to 1983 and an assistant professor at Harvard University. Since 1983 she is at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory and worked since 1988 in addition astronomy professor at Harvard University.

Geller charted the universe and refuted the hypothesis that galaxies are uniformly distributed on a large scale. It has therefore measured by its employees the redshift of 584 galaxies for the first time. The galaxies are not randomly distributed, but as ordered in a foam-like structure on their finished map. Became famous the " stick figure " in this diagram. Geller discovered in 1989 with John Huchra the Great Wall, the hitherto largest structure in the universe. She also is interested in the distribution of dark matter in the cosmos as well as the mass in the halo of our Milky Way galaxy, for galaxy clusters and star formation.

Geller's hobbies are movies, reading, talking, writing, traveling and gardening.

Publications (selection)

  • Bright Galaxies in Rich Clusters: A Statistical Model for Magnitude Distributions. Dissertation, 1975
  • More than 200 scientific papers
  • Movies (all in collaboration with Boyd Estus ): 1989 Mapping The Universe (5 minutes)
  • 1989 Where The Galaxies Are ( 8 minutes)
  • 1993 So Many Galaxies ... So Little Time (40 minutes)
  • 1996 Fred and Ginger on the Universe ( short film )

Awards (selection)