Netizens HURRAY Female Scientist Who Unveiled First Ever PHOTO of Black Hole

James Marshall
October 8, 2019

Katie Bouman, a computer scientist who was a student studying at MIT, is the person who is credited with coming up with the algorithm that made the capturing of the image possible.

'So apparently some (I hope very few) people online are using the fact that I am the primary developer of the eht-imaging software library to launch terrible and sexist attacks on my colleague and friend Katie Bouman.

Black holes are extremely far away and compact, so taking a photo of one is no easy task. And Bouman, whose expertise is not in astrophysics but computer science, was one of a small group of people who spent years developing and testing those methods.

A global network of telescopes known as the Event Horizon Telescope project collected millions of gigabytes of data about M87 using a technique known as interferometry.

On that day in June, the data had finally arrived and Bouman's team pressed "go", waiting to see whether the code they had written could actually capture the invisible.

"The Black Hole photo is very impressive, but I'm more interested in where they got these 80TB drives", said one Redditor. While Bouman's role in the task might be over she is already moving on to new challenges.

Now playing: Watch this: Black Hole Hunters: See the moment scientists saw the.

'Can we just be amazed at this incredible scientific development and not turn it into some bullshit political battle?' one user said.

Bouman delivered a TED talk in 2016 called "How to take a picture of a black hole", where she explained "getting this first picture will come down to an worldwide team of scientists, an Earth-sized telescope and an algorithm that puts together the final picture". And after the image was unveiled to the world on Wednesday, Bouman began earning accolades from fellow scientists, historians and politicians for her significant achievement.

"We developed ways to generate synthetic data and used different algorithms and tested blindly to see if we can recover an image", she told CNN. "However, you might be surprised to know that that may soon change".

With just the press of a button, a fuzzy orange ring appeared on Bouman's computer screen, the world's first image of a supermassive black hole, and astronomical history was made. It's nearly like seeing one pixel in an image (but it's in a different kind of domain).

What we have to end up doing is imposing things called "regularizors" or "priors" that allow us to say, "Okay, of all of the images that possibly could fit this data, this set of images is most likely". There are many women, in many places, and in many colors, making a difference today.

But Dr Bouman, now an assistant professor of computing and mathematical sciences at the California Institute of Technology, insisted the team that helped her deserves equal credit.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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