In collaboration with Kodak and George Eastman House, this week celebrates the history of photography, its contribution to and relationship with surrounding culture, its place in the art world, and its reflection of technological innovations that have reshaped the industry. We meet photographers practicing their craft, and SEE this nexus of art, science, culture, biography, and history.
Dr. Margaret Geller
Margaret Geller is a senior scientist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Mass., and a pioneer in mapping the nearby universe. Her current research interests include the structure of the Milky Way galaxy and the distribution of dark matter in the universe. Her long-range scientific goals are to discover what the universe looks like and to understand how it came to have the rich patterns we can observe today.
Geller made two award-winning documentary films about her work: Where the Galaxies Are and So Many Galaxies... So Little Time. These films contain the first animations of flights through the universe based on scientific observations.
A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, who earned her Ph.D. at Princeton, Geller is a past recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and also has received the Newcomb-Cleveland Award of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Klopsteg Award of the American Association of Physics Teachers, and the Magellanic Premium of the American Philosophical Society. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Investigation of the universe beyond Earth's atmosphere by means of manned and unmanned spacecraft. Study of the use of rockets for spaceflight began early in the 20th century. Germany's research on rocket propulsion in the 1930s led to development of the V-2 missile. After World War II, the U.S. and the Soviet Union, with the aid of relocated German scientists, competed in the space race, making substantial progress in high-altitude rocket technology (seestaged rocket). Both launched their first satellites (seeSputnik; Explorer) in the late 1950s (followed by other satellites and unmanned lunar probes) and their first manned space vehicles (seeVostok; Mercury) in 1961. A succession of longer and more complex manned space missions followed, most notably the U.S. Apollo program, including the first manned lunar landing in 1969, and the Soviet Soyuz and Salyut missions. Beginning in the 1960s, U.S. and Soviet scientists also launched unmanned deep-space probes for studies of the planets and other solar system objects (seePioneer; Venera; Viking; Voyager; Galileo), and Earth-orbiting astronomical observatories (see, for example, Hubble Space Telescope), which permitted observation of cosmic objects from above the filtering and distorting effects of Earth's atmosphere. In the 1970s and '80s the Soviet Union concentrated on the development of space stations for scientific research and military reconnaissance (seeSalyut; Mir). After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia continued its space program, but on a reduced basis owing to economic constraints. In 1973 the U.S. launched its own space station (seeSkylab), and since the mid 1970s it has devoted much of its manned space efforts to the space shuttle program and, more recently, to developing the International Space Station in collaboration with Russia and other countries.