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Friday, Oct. 17, 2014

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Astronomer to tell story of the universe, Dec. 4

Astronomer Vera Rubin will present "Telling Stories About the Universe" at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, in McCosh 50.

Rubin has spent her career as an observational astronomer looking at the spectra, or light signatures, of galaxies to determine their motions. She arrived at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism in Washington, D.C., in 1965 and, through her research, confirmed the existence of dark matter -- the mysterious, unseen material that dominates the universe.

She received the 1993 National Medal of Science and the 2002 Cosmology Prize of the Peter Gruber Foundation.

"Today astronomers know that luminous galaxies and clusters of galaxies populate the universe, but make up less than 10 percent of its matter," she said. "The remaining matter is dark, and is detected by its gravitational effect on the bright matter we study. Equally mysterious is the force that is apparently causing the expansion of the universe to accelerate. I will tell our story of the bright universe we know, and the dark universe that is obscure."

Rubin's talk is designated as the Stafford Little Lecture and is part of the University's Public Lectures Series. The event will be Webcast .

Contact: Eric Quinones (609) 258-3601

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