Katherine Bouman – The Scientist Who Brought the First Image of Black Hole

Katherine Bouman – The Scientist Who Brought the First Image of Black Hole

The fuss on the image of Black Hole was on for so long. Almost everyone studied about the Black Hole, but no one knew how it actually looked until now. All thanks to Katie Bouman for bringing us the first image of Black Hole.

Event Horizon Telescope. Image Credit: Event Horizon Telescope

Event Horizon Telescope. Image Credit: Event Horizon Telescope

Yesterday, on April 10, 2019, Katherine Bouman, a 29-year old scientist introduced us the first image of Black Hole. She is a postdoctoral researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and had been working on such an algorithm for around six years. She was one of about three dozen computer scientists who used algorithms to process data gathered by the Event Horizon Telescope project, a worldwide collaboration of astronomers, engineers, and mathematicians.

“Telescopes around the world collected high-frequency radio waves from the vicinity of Messier 87 (M87), a galaxy with a supermassive black hole 54 million light-years away. But atmospheric disturbance and the spareness of the measurements meant “an infinite number of possible images” could explain the data,” said Bouman.

The first image of Black Hole that the world witnessed yesterday was likened to a molten doughnut. On this matter, Bouman said, “We blurred two of the images and then averaged them to the other one to get the image that we showed. The ring of material that surrounds M87*, which has a mass of 6.5 billion suns is something that we were incredibly confident about.”

The internet has been buzzing since the image was publicized yesterday. Prior to this, every image of a black hole was a simulation or an illustration. The ‘photo’ was taken of the supermassive black hole at the center of a giant elliptical galaxy called M87, around 55 million light-years away. This thing is humungous – around 6.5 billion times the mass of the Sun. In the middle is the shadow of the black hole. We cannot actually see the black hole itself as its immense gravity doesn’t allow any detectable radiation to escape. Therefore, it appears as opaque space, according to the officials.

With this great discovery, history was made yesterday. Do you have anything to share on this topic? Feel free to use the comments section.

Source: Science Alert

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