- Vera Rubin, the astrophysicist responsible for confirming the first existence of dark matter, died on Sunday night at the age of 88.
- Carnegie Institution president Matthew Scott called Rubin “a national treasure as an accomplished astronomer and a wonderful role model for young scientist.”
- Rubin and her colleagues observed galaxies in the 1970s, they learned the motion of stars is a result of a “material that does not emit light and extends beyond the optical galaxy” — also known as dark matter.
- Swiss astrophysicist Fritz Zwicky proposed the idea of dark matter in 1933, but Rubin’s groundbreaking work subsequently led to the confirmation of the material.
- This finding is what led to the discovery that 90% of the universe is made up of dark matter, a finding some colleagues felt was overlooked and deserving of a Nobel Prize. Read more