First came the impressive image, the first to show a black hole, in a galaxy about 55 million light years from Earth.
Then there was the dizzying realization that the extraordinary moment of the years would not have been possible without the work of a 29-year-old scientist, who has now claimed a special place in history.
Katherine Bouman, a postdoctoral researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, created an algorithm that brought together the unique image. And after the image was presented to the world on Wednesday, Bouman began earning praise from his fellow scientists, historians and politicians for his important achievement.
[Algorithms gave us the black hole picture. She’s the 29-year-old scientist who helped create them.]
"Given the extent of the use of" historical "today, we are shamelessly and legitimately getting into the #BlackHolePicture car, Congratulations Dr. Bouman!" The Royal Historical Society wrote in social networks.
Bouman began working on an algorithm as a graduate student at the Mbadachusetts Institute of Technology, studying electrical engineering and computer science.
According to Ben Guarino of The Washington Post:
She was one of three dozen computer scientists who used algorithms to process data collected by the Event Horizon Telescope project, a global collaboration of astronomers, engineers and mathematicians.
Telescopes around the world collected high frequency radio waves in the vicinity of Messier 87, a supermbadive black hole 54 million light years away. However, Bouman explained that the atmospheric disturbance and the capacity of the measurements meant that "an infinite number of possible images" could explain the data. Well-designed algorithms had to go through chaos.
When the first image on Wednesday was revealed, it caused an overwhelming emotion online, not only for science but also for the scientist who supports it.
"I'm inspired by Katie Bouman," Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, the executive director of U.N. Women, wrote On twitter.
The feeling was shared through social networks.
Everyone, I love that Dr. Katie Bouman is in fashion. I did not know her name until tonight, but many people thought: "they will condemn us if another woman goes unnoticed for her credit in a scientific advance", and here we are.
I really love that.
– Charlotte Clymer?️? (@cmclymer) April 10, 2019
Wow, it's so cool to see troubled men popping up to say that Katie Bouman does not deserve credit for the team she led and the algorithm she wrote, while literally none of them can name a single SpaceX scientist, but out of breath she tells us how Elon Musk invented space And time
– Catherynne Valente (@catvalente) April 11, 2019
Congratulations to Katie Bouman, to whom we owe the first photograph of a black hole. Do not see your name circulate enough in the press.
Amazing work. And here are more women in science (get their credit and be remembered in history) ️ pic.twitter.com/wcPhB6E5qK
– Tamy Emma Pepin (@TamyEmmaPepin) April 10, 2019
See a black hole for the first time in a historical image of the Horizon Telescope of events