I don’t know who kicked this meme off, but some dipstick Journalist ignorant in the history of astronomy started it a couple of years back, and successive dipstick Journalists have carried on being lazy and simply copying this crap.

What has annoyed me this time?  Vera Rubin DID NOT “discover” Dark Matter in the 1970s by observing anomalous star movements in galaxies.

The person who DID first discover Dark Matter by applying the virial theorem  to star motions in galaxies was in fact Fritz Zwicky who did this work way back in 1933.  He even called the unseen matter in the Coma galaxy cluster – dunkle Materie – Dark Matter.

I was incensed to see the BBC propagating this Vera Rubin myth in the recent 60th Anniversary Sky at Night, and they actually got back to me with an answer as to why they did this.

They kindly brought it to my attention that as this was a look over the last 60 years of astronomy, and as Vera Rubin was working in the 70s, then that’s why Zwicky didn’t get a mention.

What?  So if they knew that Zwicky was the real discoverer in 1933, why mention Vera Rubin at all?  What did she actually bring that was new to the party?

I’ll let you come to your own conclusions on that one.

 

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