Vera Rubin, the groundbreaking astrophysicist who discovered evidence of dark matter, died Sunday night at the age of 88, the Carnegie Institution confirms.
Rubin did much of her revelatory work at Carnegie. The organization’s president calls her a “national treasure.”
In the 1960s and 1970s, Rubin was working with astronomer Kent Ford, studying the behavior of spiral galaxies, when they discovered something entirely unexpected — the stars at the outside of the galaxy were moving as fast as the ones in the middle, which didn’t fit with Newtonian gravitational theory.
The explanation: Dark matter.
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