[116th Congress Public Law 97]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]

[[Page 133 STAT. 3251]]

Public Law 116-97
116th Congress

                                 An Act

To designate the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope as the ``Vera C. Rubin 
         Observatory''. <<NOTE: Dec. 20, 2019 -  [H.R. 3196]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Vera C. Rubin 
Observatory Designation Act.>> 

    This Act may be cited as the ``Vera C. Rubin Observatory Designation 

    Congress finds the following:
            (1) Dr. Vera Rubin was born July 23, 1928, to Philip and 
        Rose Applebaum Cooper.
            (2) Dr. Rubin pursued her graduate studies at Cornell 
        University and Georgetown University, earning her Ph.D. in 
        Physics in 1954.
            (3) Dr. Rubin's Ph.D. thesis on galaxy motions provided 
        supporting evidence that galaxies are not uniformly distributed, 
        but exist in clusters.
            (4) Dr. Rubin continued to study the motions of galaxies, 
        first as research associate and assistant professor at 
        Georgetown University, and then as a member of the staff at the 
        Carnegie Institution of Washington Department of Terrestrial 
            (5) Dr. Rubin faced barriers throughout her career because 
        of her gender.
            (6) For instance, one of the world's leading astronomy 
        facilities at the time, the Palomar Observatory, did not permit 
        women. Dr. Rubin persisted and was finally allowed to observe at 
        Palomar in 1965, the first woman officially allowed to do so.
            (7) In 1970, Dr. Rubin published measurements of the 
        Andromeda galaxy showing stars and gas orbiting the galaxy's 
        center too fast to be explained by the amount of mass associated 
        with the light output of the stars.
            (8) In the years that followed, Dr. Rubin and her 
        collaborators used their observations, in conjunction with the 
        work by earlier astronomers on the rotation of stars in spiral 
        galaxies, to provide some of the best evidence for the existence 
        of dark matter.
            (9) This work contributed to a major shift in the 
        conventional view of the universe, from one dominated by 
        ordinary matter such as what produces the light of stars, to one 
        dominated by dark matter.

[[Page 133 STAT. 3252]]

            (10) Dr. Rubin was elected to the National Academy of 
        Sciences in 1981, the second woman astronomer to be so honored.
            (11) Dr. Rubin was awarded the President's National Medal of 
        Science in 1993 ``for her pioneering research programs in 
        observational cosmology which demonstrated that much of the 
        matter in the universe is dark, and for significant 
        contributions to the realization that the universe is more 
        complex and more mysterious than had been imagined''.
            (12) Dr. Rubin was an outspoken advocate for the equal 
        treatment and representation of women in science, and she served 
        as a mentor, supporter, and role model to many women astronomers 
        throughout her life.
            (13) The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, funded jointly by 
        the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy, 
        will honor the legacy of Dr. Rubin and her colleagues to probe 
        the nature of dark matter by mapping and cataloging billions of 
        galaxies through space and time.

    The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope shall be known and designated as 
the ``Vera C. Rubin Observatory''.

    Any reference in a law, map, regulation, document, paper, or other 
record of the United States to the facility described in section 3 shall 
be deemed to be a reference to the ``Vera C. Rubin Observatory''.

    Approved December 20, 2019.


HOUSE REPORTS: No. 116-132 (Comm. on Science, Space, and Technology).
            July 23, considered and passed House.
            Dec. 18, considered and passed Senate.