Scientists have managed to capture the first ever direct image of a black hole, and two neighbouring ones, and all the credit goes to an MIT graduate, 29-year-old Dr Katie Bouman, who three years ago came up with an algorithm capable of collecting data from telescopes all around the world, to now bring together an image of the extraordinarily distant phenomenon.
Her work, which has already been praised across political and scientific circles, including First Daughter Ivanka Trump, Kamala Harris, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, notably enabled the capture of the object, which is 55 million light years away, using a conventional wide telescope, the largest one in the world being just 1,000ft in diameter, while in order to take a separate photograph of the distant object, one would theoretically need a 10,000-kilometre wide telescope to even give it a try.
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Despite the grand scale of the discovery, which added a great and crucial deal to Einstein's Theory of General Relativity, Bouman wrote in a truly humble way captioning her eye-popping picture on Facebook:
“Watching in disbelief as the first image I ever made of a black hole was in the process of being reconstructed”, she posted.
The simple-worded caption was immediately picked up on by netizens, with many attempting to make sure that Bouman gets the credit and fame she is now fully entitled to, suspecting media will underreport the subject:
"It's been a huge day for science + #WomenInScience! On Wednesday, we got our first direct look at a #blackhole, thanks to the #EventHorizonTelescope. MIT grad #KatieBouman helped develop a computer program while still in school." #WomenInSTEM #GirlsInSTEM https://t.co/n1iyzQVQUB— STEM Gems (@STEMGemsBook) 11 апреля 2019 г.
#KatieBouman's smart work has been crucial to getting that first photo of the black hole. Let's make sure that her name gets mentioned in every reference to the first black hole photo. #BlackHole https://t.co/GCahq51etP— Sulochana Peiris (@Sulo_Peiris) 11 апреля 2019 г.
Check out this captivating #TedTalk by Dr. Katie Bouman, a computer scientist who made the #BlackHolePicture possible. The talk is from 2016 and she explains how photos of black holes are taken/developed. Fascinating stuff! https://t.co/WvMwj7F7zY— Sydney Campbell (@SydneyOCampbell) 11 апреля 2019 г.
In honor of "Katie Bouman" & her fab photo of a #BlackHole, https://t.co/TcX5FAiRcR— Stephanie Marsilia (@smarsilia) 11 апреля 2019 г.
Incredible backstory on how this image of a black hole released today came about. https://t.co/eT6QFmpsKR— Jon Carmichael (@photographerjon) 10 апреля 2019 г.
This is so inspiring and should be a reminder to all of us that if you have a thought or idea about something, don’t doubt yourself. Pursue it.
Huge congrats Katie Bouman! https://t.co/z7yUkwXvpF
“Congratulations to Katie Bouman to whom we owe the first photograph of a black hole ever. Not seeing her name circulate nearly enough in the press. Amazing work. And here's to more women in science (getting their credit and being remembered in history)”, wrote a user called Tamy Emma wrote, sharing Katie Bouman’s, with her post going viral with over 92,000 retweets and nearly 190,000 likes.
Loads of praise arrived on Twitter, with many, like Ivanka, applauding women’s empowerment in science:
Girls run the world, and now girls run the galaxy. 💁 Katie Bouman, an MIT graduate student in electrical engineering and computer science, led the development of a new algorithm that brought us the first ever black hole photo today. https://t.co/y84fMlIxl1— Craig Marimpietri (@News_Craig) 10 апреля 2019 г.
Today, the world saw the 1st-ever image of a #BlackHole — an amazing accomplishment made possible by Scientist Katie Bouman.— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) 10 апреля 2019 г.
Big congrats! 👏
Hooray for #WomenInSTEM like Bouman! https://t.co/se32OTFMJ6
Even funny comments popped up, with one Twitterian saying tongue-in-cheek that a woman coming up with such a discovery makes total sense, since women have been “spotting black holes in men since forever”:
Dr. Katie Bouman created the algorithm that made it possible to capture the first ever photo of a #blackhole. Makes total sense a woman was a leading force behind this operation, women have been spotting black holes in men since forever! pic.twitter.com/UV5X8UbGwe— The NRI Times (@nri_times) 11 апреля 2019 г.
Another netizen opted to share a hilarious meme to illustrate the news, with a woman in it stating in a straightforward way “Hold my Beer” in response to a man blatantly questioning her capabilities:
Physicists: black holes are impossible to see.— sydney (@stanlitto) 11 апреля 2019 г.
Katie Bouman: pic.twitter.com/SnTlraz768