Vera Rubin, US astronomer

Vera Rubin, US astronomer

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Credit: PHYSICS TODAY COLLECTION/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Vera Rubin (1928-2016), US astronomer. One of the domes of Kitt Peak National Observatory, Arizona, USA, is in the background. Rubin's work on the motion of galaxies and the stars and gas within them have constantly challenged accepted theories. She demonstrated the uneven distribution of galaxies (1954), and worked on spiral galaxies in the 1970s, leading to the proposal of dark matter, the unknown substance now believed to constitute over 90 percent of the Universe. Photographed in 1987 for a PBS documentary.

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