(January 17, 2020 / JNS) The National Science Foundation announced earlier this month that the first national U.S. observatory to be named after a female astronomer will honor Jewish scientist Vera Rubin.
The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope in Cerro Pachón, Chile, will be renamed the NSF Vera C. Rubin Observatory.
Science operations at the facility will begin in 2020.
Rubin, who died in 2016 at the age of 88, is most well-known for discovering evidence of dark matter.
The observatory renaming recognizes her role in better understanding dark matter and the study of dark energy will be one of the facility’s main research topics, along with taking an inventory of the solar system, exploring the transient optical sky and mapping the Milky Way.
Paul Dabbar, Department of Energy undersecretary for science, said Rubin’s life achievements as a scientist “remain a model for all those seeking to satisfy humanity’s unceasing curiosity about our universe.”
“We are deeply honored to have the observatory named after Vera Rubin,” said Steve Kahn, director of the Rubin Observatory. “Through her discovery of dark matter, Vera made one of the most important contributions to science in the past century—not only for astronomy, but also for fundamental physics. When construction is completed, the Rubin Observatory will build on her pioneering work to dramatically improve our understanding of the universe on many different scales.”
Rubin received numerous honors during her life, such as the National Medal of Science, and was a vocal advocate for women’s rights in the sciences. She is also recognized for paving the way for other women in astronomy after she faced gender bias at the start of her career.
Support Jewish Journalism
with 2020 Vision
JNS is more than just another news website and syndication service. It is an organization devoted to nonstop reporting, and telling the truth about Israel and Jewish issues unburdened by the biases and institutional blinders that distort so much of what we read, hear and see about these topics elsewhere in the secular and even Jewish press.
At JNS, you get the facts about Israel and Jewish issues without the bias that so often tilts the argument against the Jewish state. JNS articles and columns are republished every week by digital outlets and print newspapers across the globe. But in the age of round-the-clock news coverage, advertising and syndication revenues are not enough to support our continued growth. We need your financial help to keep JNS on target as we continue our fair and accurate reporting.
Please help us take JNS to the next level with a tax-deductible sponsorship, either on a recurring monthly basis. Jewish News Syndicate is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.