Vera Rubin's Groundbreaking Evidence Of Invisible Dark Matter

Vera Rubin's Groundbreaking Evidence Of Invisible Dark Matter

How do we know that something we can't find is really there? We can't see or detect dark matter, but over the years, scientists have presented research that allows them to infer its existence. Dark matter is the invisible, undetectable stuff (and we say stuff because no one really knows what it's made of) that makes up a sizable chunk of the universe, and does not absorb or emit light.

Dark matter was first suggested in the 1930s, when astronomers began weighing galaxies and observed that they were a lot heavier than expected. In the 1970s, astronomer Vera Rubin took this research a step further, working with a new spectograph to determine that stars on the edges of galaxies were moving faster than expected. Previous calculations of galaxies only used the visible matter in them, and the result of those calculations suggested the stars on the edges were moving slowly. The discrepancy in star speeds is thought to be due to dark matter. Rubin's discovery was presented in 1980 in an influential paper that recognized dark matter as a critical mystery for astronomers to uncover. Watch the videos below for more on Rubin and dark matter.

An In-Depth Chat About Vera Rubin

Rubin was doing research way ahead of her time that no one believed could be true.


What Is Dark Matter?

We don't know what it is, but we're sure it's there.


from SciShow

How Do We Find Dark Matter?

As we know now, it's undetectable.

See all

Outer Space


Nikola Tesla


Get smarter every day! Like us on Facebook.
You'll get the most interesting and engaging topics in your feed, straight from our team of experts.