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Business News/ Science / News/  NASA Hubble shares photo of Rubin's Galaxy while remembering Vera Rubin, ‘Mother of Dark Matter’, on Mother's Day 2024
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NASA Hubble shares photo of Rubin's Galaxy while remembering Vera Rubin, ‘Mother of Dark Matter’, on Mother's Day 2024

Rubin measured the galaxy's rotation to provide evidence for dark matter, the majority of the galaxy's mass. Holwerda aims to understand the galaxy's extraordinary size, expressing curiosity about its origins and potential with upcoming telescopes.

Vera Rubin – also known as the 'Mother of Dark Matter'. Premium
Vera Rubin – also known as the 'Mother of Dark Matter'.

Vera Rubin, affectionately known as the “Mother of Dark Matter," earned her moniker through groundbreaking research on the elusive substance that makes up a significant portion of the universe.

According to a post by Hubble, a galaxy in particular became synonymous with Rubin's pioneering work, earning the nickname “Rubin's Galaxy."

This designation stemmed from Rubin's thorough investigation of the galaxy, motivated by her quest to unveil the mysteries of dark matter, the invisible scaffolding upon which our universe is structured.

In a post on X, Hubble wrote, “This Mothers Day, we're thinking of Vera Rubin – also known as the “Mother of Dark Matter"! This galaxy was nicknamed Rubin's Galaxy because she studied it in search of dark matter, which is like the invisible scaffolding of our universe."

According to a release, Rubin measured the galaxy's rotation, which provides evidence for dark matter, which makes up most of the galaxy's mass as measured by the rotation rate. “We consider this a commemorative image. This goal to cite Dr. Rubin in our observation was very much part of our original Hubble proposal," said B. Holwerda from the University of Louisville.

Holwerda, presenting findings at the winter American Astronomical Society meeting in Honolulu, Hawaii, aims to unravel the mystery behind the extraordinary size of the galaxy.

Expressing his curiosity, he remarked, “How it got so big is something we don't quite know yet." He further explained that the galaxy's dimensions are remarkable, being as large as possible for a disk galaxy without encountering other celestial bodies in space.

NASA's upcoming James Webb Space Telescope holds promise for delving into the heart of this galaxy and exploring its globular cluster population. Additionally, NASA's planned Wide Field Infrared Survey Telescope (WFIRST) is poised to comprehensively census the galaxy's cluster population, particularly within its extensive halo.

Holwerda emphasized the significance of the infrared capabilities of both telescopes, which offer a clearer view of the underlying stellar populations. This complements the Hubble Space Telescope's ability to track subtle star formation across the galaxy in visible light.

Foreground stars from our Milky Way are visible in the image, identifiable by their diffraction spikes. Despite the appearance of one bright star seemingly atop the galaxy's disk, it's crucial to note that UGC 2885 lies 232 million light-years further away.

The release stated that in the northern constellation Perseus, this colossal galaxy continues to captivate astronomers with its awe-inspiring scale and structure.

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Published: 13 May 2024, 08:21 AM IST
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