Astronomer Vera Rubin (1928-2016), discovered the presence of dark matter in galaxies by observing their rotation. Her groundbreaking observations demonstrated that the rotation of galaxies is faster, especially in their outskirts, than what is expected from the gravitational pull of all of their normal, luminous mass (stars, gas, etc). This pioneering observation revealed that a large part of the mass of galaxies is in the form of dark matter. [more inside]
Vera Rubin and Dark Matter Vera Rubin has been quoted as saying "Does Sex Matter? Of course it does. But does it matter enough to Matter? That's a different question." She is an astronomer and mother of four who successfully combined a serious career with raising a family. She is one of the discoverers of dark matter. [more inside]
The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos, to know itself.
Cosmos: A Personal Voyage is a thirteen-part television series of one hour shows written by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Steven Soter, that was aired at the tail end of 1980 and was - at the time - the most widely watched series in the history of American public television. It is best introduced by an audio excerpt of one of his books, The Pale Blue Dot. Inside is a complete annotated collection of the series. [more inside]
You may already be familiar with PhDComics (Previously) and the PhDMovie (Previously), but PhDComics.tv has now become a pretty fantastic resource for both researchers and laymen. [more inside]
Visualization of the dark matter in 1/1000 of the gigantic Bolshoi cosmological simulation, zooming in on a region centered on the dark matter halo of a very large cluster of galaxies. ... The Bolshoi simulation is the most accurate cosmological simulation of the evolution of the large-scale structure of the universe yet made (“bolshoi” is the Russian word for “great” or “grand”). (The Formation of the Milky Way and its Neighbors is cool too.)
A fascinating talk about the composition of the universe [Youtube, approx 1 hour], presented by Sean Carroll, theoretical physicist at CIT. [via] [more inside]
UniverseNewsFilter: Scientists claim to have detected dark matter! Here are NASA's press release, feature page and multimedia presentation. For an explanation what dark matter is, I refer you to this page. After all that excitement, you can sit down and work out how much dark matter is in the Milky Way.
It ain't so dark anymore. Dark matter seems poised to assume its place among those astronomical phenomena that were predicted to exist before being observed. The planet Neptune and black holes to mention two of them. The last 100 years have really been a boom time for astronomy, and they're not slowing down.