Vera Rubin, US astronomer

Vera Rubin, US astronomer

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Credit: EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Vera Rubin (1928-2016, nee Cooper), US astronomer and astrophysicist, at the 1971 Mayall Symposium. Rubin's studies of the motion of galaxies and the stars and gas within them have constantly challenged accepted theories. Her doctoral work, completed in 1954, showed that galaxies are unevenly distributed within the Universe, going against contemporary cosmological theories. In the 1970s, her research at the Carnegie Institute of Washington, USA, into spiral galaxies led to the proposal of dark matter, the unknown substance now believed to constitute over 90 percent of the Universe. Photographed on 8 May 1971.

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