"An eclectic mix of original jazz compositions and magnificent images of the cosmos from the Hubble Space Telescope are combined in this unique performance by TEN 27 featuring Monica Wilson-Roach on electric cello and bass, Michael Roach on keyboards and piano, and Paul Borrello on mallet-kat and drums."
according to the american astronomical society newsletter, Monica Wilson-Roach wrote the cosmology-based jazz composition in honor of vera rubin - one of my astronomical heroes! vera's perseverance to study the universe, despite being discouraged from studying science because of her womanhood (princeton said "no thanks" to her and all other women until 1975!), helped create a more benevolent atmosphere for me to pursue my studies today!
From Ken Croswell’s The Universe at Midnight (via cosmic variance):
Vera Rubin was ignored, in part because she was a woman. With a certain amount of pain, she recalls that, when she applied to Swarthmore College as a science major and casually told the admissions officer that she liked to paint, the interviewer said, “Have you ever considered a career in which you paint pictures of astronomical objects?” She recalled, “That became a tag line in my family: for many years, whenever anything went wrong for anyone, we said, ‘Have you ever considered a career in which you paint pictures of astronomical objects?’” When she told her high school physics teacher that she got accepted to Vassar, he replied, “You should do okay as long as you stay away from science.” She would later recall, “It takes an enormous amount of self-esteem to listen to things like that and not be demolished.”
vera rubin contributed immensely to our understanding of the composition of the universe. she provided clear observational evidence that something non-visible existed inside galaxies. in fact, she found that there was 5-10 times more of the non-visible stuff in side galaxies than the visible stuff that produced the light for our telescopes to collect!
to do this, she looked at spectra of many galaxies in order to calculate the speed at which stars orbit around their galaxy centers. the speed of the star around the center of the galaxy is proportional to the distance to the center and how much stuff is between the star and the center. this is similar to planetary speeds - neptune moves much slower around the sun than the earth does because it is much farther away. vera measured the speed of the stars at the outskirts of galaxies and realized they moved way faster than they should, after taking into account all the visible material inside the star's orbit. therefore, something else, something non-visible, something dark, "dark matter" existed inside the galaxy to gravitationally speed up the stars rotating around the edges.
i was lucky enough to meet vera at my first AAS meeting while i was still an undergraduate student. the woman who introduced me made it a point to tell me a bit about vera's history beforehand, and i remember being very excited at that moment! thanks for your inspiration, vera!