PIONEERING astronomer Vera Rubin, who helped find powerful evidence of dark matter and some say was deserving of a Nobel Prize, has died aged 88.
Dr Rubin's son Allan, a geosciences professor at Princeton University, said his mother, who had dementia, died on Sunday night of natural causes at an assisted living facility in Princeton, New Jersey.
Dr Rubin had used galaxies' rotations to discover the first direct evidence of dark matter in the 1970s while working at the Carnegie Institution in Washington.
Working with spectrograph designer Kent Ford, she found material at galaxies' edges rotated at the same rate as material in the centre.
The discovery contradicted a law of physics that said the greater mass in the centre, such as dust, stars and gas, meant it should move faster than the edge, where there was less mass.
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