Astronomer Vera Rubin, Who Confirmed Dark Matter is No More (Download PDF)

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Pioneering astronomer Vera Rubin passed away at 88. Rubin, who helped discover evidence of dark matter, passed away due to natural causes. Rubin did much of her revelatory work at Carnegie. She was a vibrant role model for women in astronomy.

Vera Rubin, working at the Lowell Observatory in 1965

Vera Rubin, Working at the Lowell Observatory in 1965

Vera Rubin, working at the Lowell Observatory in 1965

About Vera Rubin

  • Born: July 23, 1928 at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
  • Residence: Princeton, New Jersey, U.S.
  • Nationality: American
  • Fields: Astronomy
  • Known for: Galaxy rotation problem, Dark matter, Rubin - Ford effect
Vera Rubin Known For

Vera Rubin Known For

Vera Rubin Known For

About Dark Matter

  • Dark matter is an unidentified type of matter.
  • It is distinct from dark energy, baryonic matter and neutrinos.
  • Dark matter encompasses around 27 per cent of the mass and energy in the observable universe.
  • It does not emit or interact with electromagnetic radiation, like light.
Dark Energy and Matter Make Up Most of The Universe

Dark Energy and Matter Make Up Most of The Universe

Dark Energy and Matter Make Up Most of The Universe

  • So that, it is invisible to the entire electromagnetic spectrum.
  • The existence and properties of dark matter are inferred from its gravitational effects such as the motions of visible matter, its influence on the universe’s large-scale structure, gravitational lensing, etc.
  • It is transparent to electromagnetic radiation.
  • It is so dense and small that it fails to absorb or release enough radiation to be detectable with current imaging technology.   
  • The standard model of cosmology outlines that the total mass-energy of the universe contains 4.9 per cent ordinary matter, 26.8 per cent dark matter and 68.3 per cent dark energy.   
  • One of the most widely accepted assumptions on the form for dark matter is that it is composed of Weakly Interacting Massive Particles that interact only through gravity and the weak force.   
  • A group of astronomers reported in August 2016 that Dragonfly 44, an ultra-diffuse galaxy with the mass of the Milky Way galaxy, but with almost no discernable stars or galactic structure, may be made almost entirely of dark matter.

- Published/Last Modified on: December 28, 2016

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