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Summary of the Symposium Honoring Vera Rubin

6 Aug 2019, 19:00 UTC
Summary of the Symposium Honoring Vera Rubin
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By Jessica L. RosenbergA symposium honoring the legacy of Vera Rubin was held at Georgetown University June 24-26, 2019. Rubin, who passed away in 2016, was a pioneer in astronomy who used measurements of the rotation curves of galaxies to infer the presence of large amounts of matter out to their observed edges. She found that her measurements of the motion of stars around the centers of the galaxies implied the existence of an unknown type of matter, now called dark matter, in amounts exceeding that of the observed matter. The symposium brought together prominent scientists whose work builds on Rubin’s legacy. Neta Bahcall, James Peebles, and Virginia Trimble all provided the personal and scientific context for her early work and set the stage for the research that builds on her work to the current day. The symposium included discussions of different observational approaches to understanding the matter content of the universe from the cosmic microwave background to the smallest galaxies and observational and theoretical attempts to understand possible sources for the dark matter.The breadth of the cutting-edge science presented at the symposium was a testament to the importance of the work that Rubin did and how it continues to ...

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