The world finally got to see the real image of a black hole for the first time in human history. And the credit goes to 29 years old Katie Bouman who derived the algorithm that made it possible.
The first photo ever of a black hole that showed a halo of dust and gas 500 million trillion km from Earth was made public on Wednesday.
The data that was rendered into an image of a black hole was taken by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), a network of eight linked telescopes.
Talking of the achievement, Dr. Bouman expressed her disbelief for the realization of a dream that was thought to be humanly impossible. The lady shared a post on her Facebook that showed her loading the image on her laptop. As the caption, she wrote,
Watching in disbelief as the first image I ever made of a black hole was in the process of being reconstructed
Bouman reportedly started developing the algorithm almost three years ago as a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
She led the project along with a team of people from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Moreover, a team from Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the MIT Haystack Observatory also worked on the project.
Well, shortly after the release of the image, Bouman became a sensation on Twitter. In fact, a New York Democratic Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez congratulated her for the achievement.
Further, MIT's Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab also shared an image on Twitter and wrote,
3 years ago MIT grad student Katie Bouman led the creation of a new algorithm to produce the first-ever image of a black hole, Today, that image was released
Left: MIT computer scientist Katie Bouman w/stacks of hard drives of black hole image data.
Right: MIT computer scientist Margaret Hamilton w/the code she wrote that helped put a man on the moon.
— MIT CSAIL (@MIT_CSAIL) April 10, 2019
Bouman, who currently works as an assistant professor at the California Institute of Technology, appreciated the efforts made by her team and said that everyone deserves equal credit. The project was headed by a team of over 200 scientists who were involved in the process of taking pictures from telescopes ranging from Antarctica to Chile.
Talking on the teamwork Bouman told CNN,
No one of us could've done it alone, It came together because of lots of different people from many different backgrounds.