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Dr. Katie Bouman Is The Reason We Have The First Ever Black Hole Photo [Video]

Anonymous to the public just days ago, a US computer scientist named Dr. Katie Bouman has become an overnight sensation due to her role in developing a computer algorithm that allowed researchers to take the world’s first image of a black hole.

“I’m so excited that we finally get to share what we have been working on for the past year!” the 29-year-old Bouman, a postdoctoral researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, gushed on her Facebook account Wednesday after the…

The term “black hole” refers to a point in space where matter is so compressed that it creates a gravity field from which even light cannot escape. The massive black hole in the photo released Wednesday is 55 million light years away at the center of a galaxy known as M87.

While the existence of black holes have been long known, the phenomenon proved impossible to witness.

In 2016, Bouman developed an algorithm named CHIRP to sift through a true mountain of data gathered by the Event Horizon Telescope project from telescopes around the world to create an image.

The volume of data — several petabytes (several million billion bytes) — was contained in a mountain of computer hard drives weighing several hundred pounds that had to be physically transported to the Haystack Observatory in Westford, Massachusetts, operated by the Massachusetts Institute of Tec ..

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