Astronomer Vera Rubin passed away Dec. 25, 2016, at the age of 88.

Vera Rubin. Photo by Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Rubin was a pioneer in her field — one of the few prominent women astronomers of her time, who, in an era of oppressive professional sexism, uncovered some of the best evidence of the existence of dark matter — the mysterious stuff that we can't see that binds the universe together.

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Heroes

On April 29, 2016, NASA announced it discovered something incredible "hiding in the night sky."

Hanging out just over 110 million light-years away is UGC 477 — the latest galaxy spotted by Hubble Space Telescope.

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Heroes