Book cover of Bright Galaxies, Dark Matter, and Beyond: The Life of Astronomer Vera Rubin by Ashley Jean Yeagerby Ashley Jean Yeager

How Vera Rubin convinced the scientific community that dark matter might exist, persevering despite early dismissals of her work.

We now know that the universe is mostly dark, made up of particles and forces that are undetectable even by our most powerful telescopes. The discovery of the possible existence of dark matter and dark energy signaled a Copernican-like revolution in astronomy: not only are we not the center of the universe, neither is the stuff of which we’re made. Astronomer Vera Rubin (1928–2016) played a pivotal role in this discovery. By showing that some astronomical objects seem to defy gravity’s grip, Rubin helped convince the scientific community of the possibility of dark matter. In Bright Galaxies, Dark Matter, and Beyond, Ashley Jean Yeager tells the story of Rubin’s life and work, recounting her persistence despite early dismissals of her work and widespread sexism in science.

Interview with the Author

Podcast art of Into the Impossible with Brian KeatingInto the Impossible With Brian Keating 
Ashley Yeager: The Brilliant Legacy of Astronomer Vera Rubin
8/17/21          47 min

In the Moment
118. Ashley Jean Yeager with Dr. Anand Thirumalai: The Life of Astronomer Vera Rubin
12/20/21           50 min

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