A Woman to Know: Vera Rubin

Science should be looked upon as something that helps us understand our role in the universe. - Vera

(image credit: Carnegie Institute of Washington)

Vera Rubin was the only astronomy major to graduate from Vassar in 1948. She applied to the physics department at Princeton and was immediately rejected — not for her grades, which were sterling, or her record, which was flawless, but because the physics program at that time did not admit women. She went to Cornell instead.

And from Cornell, she worked on the telescopes at the Palomar Observatory in San Diego (again, the first woman permitted access). She studied galaxy rotation and the speed of stars — her discoveries there are the most conclusive evidence pointing to the existence of dark matter.

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