The finding of powerful evidence of dark matter was a crucial discovery for the astronomers. Allan Rubin, who died at 88 on December 25 in the Princeton, New Jersey, was an astronomer who helped in finding the proof of dark matter. She had been suffering from dementia.
Vera Rubin was one of the women who are known for making remarkable contributions in the field of physics. However, she was never awarded the Nobel Prize, but was one of the most popular astronomers.
A pioneering astrophysicist, Vera Rubin in the 1970s offered the strongest evidence yet for the existence of dark matter through her work. Vera Rubin worked on galaxies for years.
As a child, Vera Rubin was a passionate science student and her dad was an electrical engineer. She got a telescope as a gift from her father, who also took her to amateur astronomy meetings.
Vera Rubin’s idol was astronomer Maria Mitchell, who taught her at Vassar College, New York, where she decided about her career.
The focus of Rubin was at the rotation of galaxies. While, Isaac Newton’s laws of physics stated the stars on the outer edges of a galaxy would have to revolve much slower than the ones at the centre, she found that throughout the galaxy, the stars revolved at the same speed.
She managed to find a strong evidence which supported the existence of dark matter – a substance that is believed to be holding all the stars together instead of letting them to be flung away.
Dark matter, which hasn’t been directly observed, makes up 27 per cent of universe as opposed to 5 per cent of the universe being normal matter. Scientists better understand what dark matter isn’t rather than what it is.
Vera Rubin studied more than 200 galaxies throughout her life. She won many awards including the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1996.
Rubin earned numerous honors because of her scientific achievements. She became the second female astronomer to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences.