Dive Into the Mystery of Dark Matter at the Neighborhood Lecture Honoring Vera Rubin

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Join us on June 29, 2023, for a special Neighborhood Lecture honoring renowned astronomer Vera Rubin, "On the Shoulders of a Giant: Continuing Vera Rubin's Quest to Understand Dark Matter."
NG4321 is shown here as an ALMA (orange/red) composite with Hubble Space Telescope (HST) data

The Carnegie Science Earth and Planets Laboratory (EPL) is pleased to announce a special Neighborhood Lecture honoring renowned astronomer Vera Rubin, who made groundbreaking observations in the late 1970s that led to the discovery of dark matter. The event, scheduled for June 29, 2023, will explore the past, present, and future of dark matter research.

Vera Rubin, often referred to as the "Mother of Dark Matter," provided the first observational evidence in support of the existence of dark matter—the invisible material that makes up more than 80 percent of the universe’s mass. Her tireless pursuit of knowledge and dedication to advancing women in science continue to inspire generations. Rubin spent her career as a staff astronomer at the Carnegie Science Broad Branch Road campus in Washington, D.C., and she was an integral part of the local community.

Join us on campus for an evening dedicated to unraveling the mysteries of dark matter. The Neighborhood Lecture, titled "On the Shoulders of a Giant: Continuing Vera Rubin's Quest to Understand Dark Matter," will feature guest speaker Rachael Beaton, an astronomer from the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and an alumna of the Carnegie-Princeton Postdoctoral Fellowship program.

During her talk, Beaton will delve into Vera Rubin's pioneering observation and the chain of clues that led to her groundbreaking discovery. She will also discuss recent advancements in our understanding of dark matter and its crucial role in the formation of galaxies. Furthermore, Beaton will outline exciting avenues for future dark matter research and explore the contributions that observatories like the Vera C. Rubin Observatory and the Nancy Grace Roman Observatory can make to our expanding knowledge of this enigmatic substance. The lecture will conclude with a Q&A session with the speaker.

And empty call box on the street near EPL

Prior to the lecture, a community ceremony will take place to unveil an art installation honoring Vera Rubin. This ceremony celebrates Rubin's extraordinary contributions and her unwavering dedication to advancing women in STEM fields. The captivating artwork, created by local artists Danielle Feuillan, Sarah Joyce-McCarron, and Laura McCarron, will be revealed as part of the Chevy Chase Community Call Box Restoration Project. The call box event will commence at 4:30 p.m. on the Carnegie Science Broad Branch Road campus at the corner of 32 St NW and Jocelyn St NW. Light refreshments will be served.

All science enthusiasts and community members are invited to attend both events. Doors to the Greenewalt Auditorium will open at 6:00 p.m., and light refreshments will be available from 6:00 to 6:30 p.m.

Registration for each event is required, so please RSVP today to secure your spot.

Call Box Event: bit.ly/vera-rubin-call-box

Neighborhood Lecture: bit.ly/nls-dark-matter

"We are honored to pay tribute to Vera Rubin, whose groundbreaking work revolutionized our understanding of the universe," said Michael Walter, Director of EPL. "This Neighborhood Lecture offers a unique opportunity to explore the mysteries of dark matter, celebrate the legacy of a remarkable scientist, and connect with our local community. We look forward to welcoming the community and engaging in an enlightening discussion with Rachael Beaton."

Guest speaker Rachael Beaton is an observational astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) known for her research on the fundamental properties of the Universe, focusing on Dark Energy and Dark Matter. Beaton, a former Carnegie Science postdoctoral fellow, previously held positions at the Carnegie Science Observatories and Princeton University. Her expertise and passion for astronomy make her a perfect choice for this enlightening event.

Please email EPL Events Coordinator Alycia Alexander at adalexander@carnegiescience.edu with questions or concerns.