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Vera Rubin, 1928-2016

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 January 2017 15:46
Published on Wednesday, 04 January 2017 12:05

Pioneering astronomer Professor Vera Rubin, who carried out seminal research on the movement of stars in galaxies, died in December at the age of 88. Rubin, whose work added key evidence for the presence of dark matter, received the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1996, the first woman to do so since Caroline Herschel in 1828.

Vera RubinVera Rubin in 2009. Credit: NASAProfessor John Zarnecki, President of the Royal Astronomical Society commented: "Vera Rubin made truly seminal discoveries in astronomy which inform the view of the Universe that we hold today. Her ideas were only fully accepted many years after they were first put forward partly because they were so ground breaking, and partly perhaps because she was at the time one of the very few female astronomers in what was a completely male dominated environment.

'It was entirely fitting that the Royal Astronomical Society awarded her its Gold Medal, the Society's highest honour."