PerspectiveRetrospective

Vera Cooper Rubin (1928—2016)

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Science  03 Feb 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6324, pp. 462
DOI: 10.1126/science.aam7920

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Summary

Vera Rubin, who died on 25 December 2016, was a force of nature. More importantly, she was a student of nature. It was her careful study of the motion of stars that convinced astronomers that there was more to galaxies than met the eye. Astronomers say she discovered compelling evidence for “dark matter.” Vera would have said that she was just an observer reporting the data and that it was possible that our understanding of gravity is inadequate or that nature harbors some other anomaly. She didn't claim the truth, but she found wonder.