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Vera Rubin: A Life


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Jacqueline Mitton has published over thirty books on astronomy and is a past editor of the Journal of the British Astronomical Association. In 1990 the International Astronomical Union named Asteroid 4027 "Mitton" in recognition of her and Simon Mitton. Simon Mitton is Life Fellow at St Edmund's College, University of Cambridge. He has written more than a dozen books on astronomy and the history of science and is Fellow and a former Vice-President of the Royal Astronomical Society.


A vivid biography of [a] trailblazing astronomer...The [Mittons] present an accessible and concise history of modern astrophysics alongside the biography, which brims with insight into Rubin's commitment to getting more women into astronomy and her deep fascination with the mysteries of the universe. Stargazers will be delighted by this spirited account. * Publishers Weekly (starred review) * A thoughtful and nuanced chronicle of the famed astronomer's life that neither overinflates nor diminishes the importance of her contributions...[A] remarkable portrait...[The Mittons] frame her story within a longer history of humanity's study of galaxies, offering readers a fresh perspective on the history of astronomy in the 20th century. -- Joanna Behrman * Science * By far the most comprehensive review of Vera Rubin's career and all the factors that shaped it. A must read. -- Sandra Faber, astronomer and University Professor, University of California Observatories In this enchanting and engaging biography, Jacqueline and Simon Mitton have captured Vera Rubin's exceptional life, unconventional career trajectory, and enduring scientific legacy. Rubin was an inspiring astronomer and human being whom I had the privilege of meeting and getting to know early in my career. This celebration of her work and life is most welcome and timely. -- Priyamvada Natarajan, astrophysicist and author of Mapping the Heavens This book is fascinating. We see Vera Rubin navigate a varied set of circumstances-in her family, in society, and in the scientific community-which culminated in a US National Observatory being named after her. It's a story that will keep you reading, eagerly, to the last page. -- Jay Pasachoff, astronomer and coauthor of The Cosmos: Astronomy in the New Millennium I will never forget the friendly, reassuring presence of Vera Rubin in the front row at my first presentation for the American Astronomical Society, when I was a graduate student. This superb book brings alive her grace and relentless study of the rotation curves of galaxies, as well as her push for women to succeed and excel in astronomy and astrophysics. This book firmly cements Rubin's place within the history of astronomy. -- Carolyn Collins Petersen, author of The Discovery of the Universe

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