ⓘ Andrea M. Ghez


ⓘ Andrea M. Ghez

Andrea Mia Ghez is an American astronomer and professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UCLA. In 2004, Discover magazine listed Ghez as one of the top 20 scientists in the United States who have shown a high degree of understanding in their respective fields.


1. Early life

The moon landings inspired Ghez to want to become the first female astronaut and her mother supported her goal. Her most influential female role model was her high school chemistry teacher. She started out in college by majoring in mathematics but changed to physics. She received a BS in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987 and her Ph.D. under the direction of Gerry Neugebauer at the California Institute of Technology in 1992.


2. Career

Her current research involves using high spatial resolution imaging techniques, such as the adaptive optics system at the Keck telescopes, to study star-forming regions and the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way known as Sagittarius A*. She uses the kinematics of stars near the center of the Milky Way as a probe to investigate this region. The high resolution of the Keck telescopes gave a significant improvement over the first major study of galactic center kinematics by Reinhard Genzels group.

In 2004, Ghez was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. She has appeared in a long list of notable media presentations. The documentaries have been produced by organizations such as BBC, Discovery Channel, and The History Channel; in 2006 there was a presentation on Nova. She was identified as a Science Hero by The My Hero Project. In 2019, Ghez was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society APS.


2.1. Career Black Hole at the Galactic Center Sgr A*

By imaging the Galactic Center at infrared wavelengths, Ghez and her colleagues have been able to peer through heavy dust that blocks visible light, and to produce images of the center of the Milky Way. Thanks to the 10 m aperture of the W.M. Keck Telescope and the use of adaptive optics to correct for the turbulence of the atmosphere, these images of the Galactic Center are at very high spatial resolution and have made it possible to follow the orbits of stars around the black hole, which is also known as Sagittarius A* or Sgr A*. The partial orbits of many stars orbiting the black hole at the Galactic Center have been observed. Since 1995, SO-2 has made almost a complete elliptical orbit. Several decades more will be required to completely document the orbits of some of these stars; these measurements may provide a test of the theory of general relativity. In October 2012, a second star was identified by her team at UCLA, S0-102, orbiting the Galactic Center. Using Keplers law, Ghezs team has used the orbital motion to show that the mass of Sgr A* is 4.1±0.6 million solar masses. Because Sgr A* is one hundred times closer than the next nearest known supermassive black hole M31* located at the center of M31 it is now one of the best demonstrated cases for a supermassive black hole.


3. Personal life

Ghez is married to Tom LaTourrette who is a geologist and research scientist at the RAND corporation. They have two sons. Ghez is a passionate swimmer in the Masters Swim Club which she uses to take a break from science.


4. Awards

  • Packard Fellowship award 1996
  • Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences 2012
  • MacArthur Fellowship 2008
  • Maria Goeppert-Mayer Award of the American Physical Society 1999
  • Honorary Doctorate of Science, University of Oxford 2019
  • Gold Shield Faculty Prize for Academic Excellence 2004
  • Crafoord Prize in Astronomy 2012
  • Royal Society Bakerian Medal 2015
  • Newton Lacy Pierce Prize in Astronomy of the American Astronomical Society 1998
  • Sackler Prize 2004
  • Marc Aaronson Memorial Lectureship 2007
  • Annie J. Cannon Award in Astronomy 1994
  • identified by a University of California, Los Angeles team headed by Andrea M Ghez At its periapsis, its speed reaches over 1 of the speed of light.
  • Catharine Garmany Pamela L. Gay Vera Fedorovna Gaze Margaret Geller Andrea M Ghez Agnes Giberne Andreja Gomboc Eva Grebel Lucie Green Jenny Greene Erika
  • companion to Z Canis Majoris, Chris D. Koresko, Steven V. W. Beckwith, Andrea M Ghez Keith Matthews, and Gerry Neugebauer, in Astronomical Journal 102 December
  • Schmidt, Mt. Stromlo Siding Spring Observatories, Australia 2007 Dr. Andrea M Ghez University of California, Los Angeles 2008 Dr. Michael E. Brown, California
  • Observational or Theoretical Astronomy and Astrophysics was awarded to Andrea M Ghez of UCLA for her pioneering high - resolution infrared observations that
  • 1995 Andrew McWilliam 1996 Michael Strauss 1997 Alyssa A. Goodman 1998 Andrea Ghez 1999 Dennis F. Zaritsky 2000 Kirpal Nandra 2001 Kenneth R. Sembach 2002
  • Marjorie Ann Olmstead 1997: Margaret Murnane 1998: Elizabeth Beise 1999: Andrea Ghez 2000: Sharon Glotzer 2001: Janet Conrad 2002: Deborah S. Jin 2003: Chung - Pei
  • of Arts and Sciences Andrea Ghez MacArthur Fellowship Genius Grant winner, 2008 professor of physics and astronomy Thomas M Liggett, professor of
  • Najarro, Francisco Morris, Mark McLean, Ian S. Geballe, Thomas R. Ghez Andrea M Langer, Norbert 1998 The Pistol Star The Astrophysical Journal
  • authority. June 5 - Michael E. Brown, American astronomer. June 16 Andrea M Ghez American astronomer. June 21 Yang Liwei, Chinese astronaut. October