Meet the woman who discovered a whole new type of galaxy
Turkish-born astrophysicist Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil shares her name with a rare double ring of stars more than 350 million light-years away.
As a child growing up in Turkey, astrophysicist Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil used to enjoy looking up at the stars in the night sky. Little did she know that thanks to her scientific skills, a galaxy sitting 359 million light-years from Earth would one day bear her name.
Mutlu-Pakdil’s lifelong passion for astrophysics was born when she had to prepare an assignment in middle school on an interesting person.
“I asked my sister for suggestions on who I should choose for my assignment, and she suggested Einstein, because he’s the cleverest man in the world,” Mutlu-Pakdil says. She immediately dove into reading about physics and became obsessed with understanding the cosmos. But she encountered obstacles when she chose to do undergraduate studies in