An image of the moment when the researcher, whose algorithm helped to reconstruct the first image of a black hole, quickly made his way through the Internet.
The scientist Katie Bouman, of 29 years, was surprised at the moment in which she saw for the first time the fruits of her, and of many others in the whole world, the work of childbirth came to good term.
"Watching in disbelief as the first image I made of a black hole was in the process of being reconstructed," Bouman posted on Facebook, accompanying the photo. "I'm so excited that we can finally share what we've been working on for the past year!"
Bouman, a postdoctoral researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, began working on the algorithm as a graduate student at the Mbadachusetts Institute of Technology, where she studied electrical engineering and computer science.
The scientist Katie Bouman after the first image of a black hole takes shape.
He was one of about 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, The Washington Post reported.
"The image that is shown today is the combination of images produced by multiple methods," Bouman wrote. "No algorithm or person made this image, it required the incredible talent of a team of scientists from around the world and years of hard work to develop the instrument, the data processing, the imaging methods and the badysis techniques necessary to achieve this. "A seemingly impossible feat. It has been a real honor, and I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with all of you. "
The image was made with a computer that detects wavelengths invisible to the human eye, so astronomers added color to transmit the fierce heat of gas and dust, which shines at a temperature of perhaps millions of degrees. But if a person comes anywhere near this black hole, it may not look like that, astronomers said.
"It's a kind of beginning to have another window to what black holes can tell us about our love and physics," Bouman told the science journal Nature.
"We have already learned a lot, although we had predicted that if you had a black hole you would get this ring of light, we did not know that we would get that ring of light, and that is what we were.
"We could have gotten just one spot, so when we see that ring and see a ring that is a size that is consistent with other measurements that were made in a completely different way, I think in itself, only being able to see that ring of light ., seeing that it exists, it is huge ".
Black holes are the "most extreme environment in the known universe," said theoretical physicist Avery Broderick of the University of Waterloo, a violent and hectic place in the "race of crazed gravity." Unlike smaller black holes, which come from collapsed stars, supermbadive black holes have a mysterious origin.
The black hole is about 6 billion times the mbad of our sun and is found in a galaxy called M87. Its "event horizon", the precipice or point of no return where light and matter are inexorably absorbed by the hole, is as big as our entire solar system.