Thursday, 25 April, 2019

Black hole image released by scientists in world first

Scientists have obtained the first image of a black hole using Event Horizon Telescope observations of the center of the galaxy M87 Black hole seen for first time in image showing matter being sucked into timeless oblivion
Cary Marshall | 11 April, 2019, 23:58

The historic image was then captured by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) - a network of eight linked telescopes using Dr Bouman's new algorithm. But actually making an image?

The Event Horizon Telescope is formed from data from telescopes located around the world in Hawaii, Chile, Mexico, Spain, Arizona, and the Antarctic. And Bouman's contribution was a crucial one in the recent, epic success that sped that process of trial-and-error considerably. "Her algorithm was frequently better than its predecessors at reconstructing the original image from the measurements and tended to handle noise better", according to a press release from 2016 from MIT, where she developed the algorithm.

Meanwhile, other Twitter users began comparing Bouman to past female hidden figures including Rosalind Franklin, the pioneering molecular biologist who contributed to our modern understandings of DNA, and Margaret Hamilton, the largely unknown MIT female computer scientist who pioneered the "software" technology that landed astronauts on the moon. "The ring came so easily".

The black hole, which is highlighted by radiating hot gas orbiting around it, is about 55 million light years from Earth. She quickly embraced the challenge to measure and see the impossible.

We are not going to go into the details of what black holes or how they are formed or what their properties are.

The first problem was solved by using the now famous Event Horizon Telescope, which relied on the principle of strength in numbers to collect light data from the elusive black hole. "This is the equivalent of being able to read the date on a quarter in Los Angeles, standing here in Washingon D.C.", said Shep Doeleman, a Harvard University senior research fellow and director of the Event Horizon Telescope project.

That's where Bouman and her team went to work.

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"M87's huge black hole mass makes it really a monster even by supermassive black hole standards", said Sera Markoff, a discovery team member at the University of Amsterdam. Bouman has already worked on looking around corners by analyzing tiny shadows and determining the material properties of objects in videos by measuring tiny motions that are invisible to the naked eye.

WASHINGTON-Humanity got its first glimpse Wednesday of the cosmic place of no return: a black hole. Which is what we have the privilege of doing now.

Dr Bouman has been praised widely on social media, with the likes of Democratic Senator Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez weighing in, with this female scientist and her team adding their names to the list of the most unforgettable discoveries.

Up next for Bouman is a new job.

Bouman created the algorithm when she was a graduate student at the computer science and artificial intelligence center of MIT.

We have our fingers crossed waiting for the Event Horizon team to unveil the news!

The same team has gathered even more data on a black hole in the center of our own Milky Way galaxy, but scientists said the object is so jumpy they don't have a good picture yet.

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