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Old 12-28-2016, 04:56 PM   #1
Catbird
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Default Vera Rubin, "Mother of Dark Matter" dies; age 88

She wasn't well known outside the astronomy and physics communities. But her research into dark matter revolutionized modern astronomy. She also opened the door that allowed other women to become professional astronomers. She wasn't famous, or a great cultural icon, but she is on the list of those taken by the Reaper of 2016.

Much more at the link.

Vera Rubin, “Mother of Dark Matter,” Dies
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Astronomer Vera Rubin, known for her revolutionary work confirming the existence of dark matter, died on December 25th. She was 88.

...Rubin completed her master’s at Cornell (her dream was to attend Princeton, but the university didn’t accept women into its graduate astrophysics program at the time)...

...With new advances in technology, she was able to study the rotation of the outer reaches of galaxies much as she used to watch the rotation of the stars outside her bedroom window. Her observations of stars orbiting on the outskirts of galaxies helped spark a remarkable discovery: the vast majority of matter is invisible.

...Rubin is notorious for having once said: "In a spiral galaxy, the ratio of dark-to-light matter is about a factor of 10. That's probably a good number for the ratio of our ignorance-to-knowledge. We're out of kindergarten, but only in about third grade."

Over the next decade, Rubin continued to study hundreds of galaxies, amassing even more evidence for dark matter. Although the nature of that matter remains a mystery today, it has become one of the biggest buzzwords in astronomy. Observers continue to study it, much in the same way Rubin once did, and theorists are desperate to explain it.
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Old 12-28-2016, 05:15 PM   #2
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She deserved a Nobel prize, but never got one.

Some of us will remember her.

RIP
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