Sandra Moore Faber

Photo courtesy of:,_Sandra_Moore@931234567.html
1944 -
Developed Theories on Galaxies including the “Faber-Jackson Law”
Sandra’s Early Life and Education
  • Born in 1944.
  • Attended Swarthwore College where she majored in physics and minored in mathematics and astronomy.
  • Graduated in 1966 with high honors.
  • Married Andrew Leigh Faber on June 9, 1967.
  • Entered graduate school in astrophysics at Harvard so she could be close to Andrew who was still at Swarthmore College.
  • Graduated with her Ph.D. in 1972.
  • They moved to Washington D.C. for Andrew’s job at the Naval Research Laboratory.
  • Sandra was allowed to use the computers at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Terrestrial Magnetism for work on her thesis. She even met Vera Rubin who worked there.
University Involvement and Careers
  • At this point Andrew decided to go into law and was accepted at Stanford Law School near where Sandra received an Assistant Professor position at Lick Observatory at UC Santa Cruz, where she still works.
  • She became the first female staff member there ever.
  • There she worked with Robert Jackson with whom she developed the Faber-Jackson law which focused on the orbiting speed of galaxies.
  • Also worked on an eight-year project with the so-called "Seven Samurai,“ a group of astronomers with whom she discovered a way to estimate the distance of galaxies.
  • Over the years she has also been involved in the design of the world’s largest optical telescope and the camera for the Hubble Space Telescope.
Accomplishments and Awards
  • Sandra and Andrew had two daughters, Robin and Holly.
  • Received the Bart J. Bok Prize of Harvard University,Heineman Prize of the American Astronomical Society, and the NASA Group Achievement Award.
  • Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Sciences, American Astronomical Society, and the International Astronomical Union.
  • Received two honorary doctorates.
  • Worked as a chair of the Keck Telescope Science Steering Committee, the Hubble Space Telescope Strategy Panel, and on the board of trustees at Carnegie Institution of Washington.
  • Now lives in Los Gatos, California, with her husband Andy, who practices law in San Jose.
  • Bailey, Martha J. American Women in Science. ABC- CLIO, Inc: Santa Barbara, California, 1998. 99-100.
  • “Biographical Sketch by Sandra M Faber.”
  • "Faber, Sandra Moore." CWP