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Transcript of Vera Rubin
Rubin found that galaxies were not only moving due to our expanding universe, but also shared a vast, organized motion...
Awards & Honors
Member, National Academy of Sciences
Beatrice Tinsley Visiting Professor, University of Texas
National Medal of Science (1993)
Highest scientific award in the nation
Russell Prize of American Astronomical Society
Dickson Prize in Science, Carnegie Mellon University
Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (London)
Since Caroline Herschel in 1828, first female to be honored with this award
Creighton University (1978)
Harvard University (1988)
Yale University (1990)
Williams College (1993)
University of Michigan (1996)
Georgetown University (1997)
Ohio State University (1998)
"History of Women in Astronomy: Vera Rubin." History of Women in Astronomy: Vera Rubin. Astronomical Society of the Pacific, 1992. Web. 29 Nov. 2013. http://astro.berkeley.edu/~gmarcy/women/rubin.html
Irion, Robert. "Vera Rubin Profile. The Bright Face Behind The Dark Sides Of Galaxies." Science (New York, N.Y.) 295.5557 (2002): 960-961. MEDLINE. Web. 1 Dec. 2013.
Kay, Laura, Stacy E. Palen, Brad Smith, and George Blumenthal. 21st Century Astronomy. 4th ed. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2013. Print.
Popova, Maria. "Pioneering Astronomer Vera Rubin on Science, Stereotypes, and Success." Brain Pickings. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/07/23/vera-rubin-berkeley-commencement-address
Rubin, Vera. "Dark Matter in the Universe." A Universal Law. Scientific America Inc. 1998 Scientific America . Web. 25 Nov. 2013. http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Archive/sabl/2006/Jan/Rubin-Dark-Matter.pdf
Shearer, Benjamin F, and Barbara S. Shearer.
Notable Women in the Physical Sciences: A Biographical Dictionary.
Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 1997. Print.
Sotor, Steven, and Neil DeGrasse Tyson. "Vera Rubin and Dark Matter." Vera Rubin and Dark Matter. New Press. 2000 American Museum of Natural History, n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2013. http://www.amnh.org/education/resources/rfl/web/essaybooks/cosmic/p_rubin.html
"Vera Rubin." The Gruber Foundation Homepage. 2011 The Gruber Foundation, n.d. Web. 01 Dec. 2013. http://gruber.yale.edu/cosmology/vera-rubin
As galaxies in one path appeared to be coming towards us, galaxies in the other path retreated
In 1954, the astronomy program at Georgetown University, led her to another discovery that galaxies often clump together forming clusters
By Audrey Mirabito & Michelle Lefebvre
Female Astronomer known today for her explorations and discoveries regarding the motion, location, and rotation of galaxies
Explorations led to evidence of dark matter existing in galaxies
The third female astronomer to be inducted into the National Academy of Sciences
After graduating from Vassar College, Rubin had hopes of attending Princeton’s graduate school
Because she was a female, she was not accepted into the program
Went onto study at Cornell, where she worked with recognized physicists Philip Morrison, Hans Bethe, and Richard Feynman
During her master’s thesis of investigating the movement of 108 galaxies, she made one of her first discoveries..
Working with Ford..
In 1965, Rubin joined the Carnegie Institution working in the department of Terrestrial Magnetism, becoming the first female to use the Mount Palomar Observatory
Went on to collaborate with co-worker, Kent Ford to delve further into the exploration of galaxies’ organized motion
Together, they made another discovery regarding the distribution of matter;
it is spread out in clusters while gravity acting on these clumps causes galaxies to accelerate into large-scale motion.
continuing their work to explore the movement and speeds of stars among galaxies..
used their findings and calculations of Doppler shifts,
an effect where light coming from a body moving farther away from the observer displays a red shift, and light coming from a body coming towards the observer displays a blue shift,
in order determine the velocities of stars among different galaxies..
These findings would lead to discoveries that would change astronomers’ assumptions of orbital speeds of stars in spiral galaxies in relation to their distance from the center..
Rubin drew the conclusion that there must be a significant area of matter that we cannot see in order to keep these stars in their high velocity orbits.
Later given the name “Dark Matter”, Rubin discovered that this mysterious mass is the answer as to how these stars positioned a significant amount away from the core of spiral galaxies are able to maintain similar speeds to those in the center.
Rubin’s calculations further proved that 90 % of matter in the universe is unseen.
The majority of the mass in spiral galaxies is composed of dark matter and is revealed by the effect of its gravity.
Earned her B.A. at Vassar College (1948)
Earned her M.A. at Cornell University (1951)
Earned her Ph.D. at Georgetown University (1954)
Photo c.1970, courtesy Dr. Rubin
"In a spiral galaxy, the ratio of dark-to-light matter is about a factor of ten. That's probably a good number for the ratio of our ignorance-to-knowledge. We're out of kindergarten, but only in about third grade."
"Fame is fleeting. My numbers mean more to me than my name. If astronomers are still using my data years from now, that's my greatest compliment."
"In a very real sense, astronomy begins anew. The joy and fun of understanding the universe we bequeath to our grandchildren--and to their grandchildren. With over 90% of the matter in the universe still to play with, even the sky will not be the limit."
NASA GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER; COURTESY OF COBESCIENCE WORKING GROUP
Since 1948 she has been married to Robert Rubin.
Robert, a mathematical biophysicist
Together they have four children:
Judith Young - an astronomer at UMass
David - a geologist
Karl - a mathematician
Allan - geologist
Rubin is known for the discovery of a matter that makes up the majority of our universe, the same woman who was rejected from Princeton’s Graduate School because of her gender..
..and same woman whose findings were followed by rejection or disapproval by the scientific community.
Today, Vera Rubin plays an active role in the education of young women specifically in the sciences.
Rubin was the 3rd female astronomer to be selected into the National Academy of Sciences and was honored with the National Medal of Science.
Because the center of spiral galaxies is home to a higher amount of stars than those positioned farther away from the center..
scientists accepted the theory that stars positioned farther away from the center of spiral galaxies sustain slower speeds than those closer to the middle, because it seemed to make sense.
So with variables distance and speed, astronomers embarked on finding the relationship between mass and how it is distributed in galactic bodies.
Proving "The Norm" Wrong
Rubin and Ford discovered that stars lying on the outside margins of their galaxies actually accelerated at the same speed of those in the center…
But how could this be possible?
Born July 23rd 1928, in Pennsylvania
Raised in Washington DC
As a little girl, she sparked an interest in the night sky
Built a telescope with her father who was an electrical engineer
Photo by Archives and Special Collections of Vassar College.
Geologic explorers. The Rubins in Rocky Mountain National Park, summer 1961.
(Left to right: Karl, David, Allan, Vera, and Judith)
ANGLO-AUSTRALIAN OBSERVATORY; PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID F. MALIN