Margaret Geller

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Topography of the universe

Margaret Geller is an astrophysicist, born in the United States in 1947.

Margaret always felt interested in astronomy, and studied at the University of California and Princeton.

She is well-known for her observations in cosmology and extragalactic astronomy. In the 80's she made the first maps of the large scale structure of the universe. It was considered large scale as it included thirty million light-years of the universe's structure, with the distribution of matter and light. Geller always attributed her great ability to visualize threedimensional planes to how she was raised by her father during her childhood.

Among her work we do not only find the first maps of the nearby universe. We also find studies on the relationship between galaxies and their environment, the development and application of measurement methods for studying the distribution of matter in the universe. She is also co-discoverer of Hypervelocity stars.

Margaret is the author of several educational videos on science, such as Where the galaxies are, or So many galaxies... so little time, and has given dissemination talks all around the world.

She is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, and the National Academy of Science.

She currently teaches astrophysics at Harvard and works at the Astrophysical Observatory of the Smithsonian Institute, directing a study on the most distant universe, called HectoMAP.

«When people on airplanes ask me what I do, I used to say I was a physicist, which ended the discussion. I once said I was a cosmologist, but they started asking me about make up, and the title “astronomer” gets confused with astrologer. Now I say I make maps.»