Meet Dr. Katie Bouman: The Woman Behind The First Black Hole Image

The one pictured was a typical, supermassive one, whose size rivals that of our solar system’s. Hence, light emanating from the unfathomably, far-flung source, was captured by an array of numerous (8 to be precise) interferometry-equipped telescopes, sprawling the globe and in essence, converting the entire planet, into a giant lens, each individual telescope acting as facets of this “compound eye”. “Watching in disbelief as the first image I ever made of a black hole was in the process of being reconstructed,” she wrote in the caption to the Facebook post of the picture. She’d also delivered a lucid TED talk on the subject of imaging (rendering) black holes, back in April 2017. The quantum leap for humanity was enacted thanks to the singlehanded efforts of pioneering software engineer Margaret Hamilton, who was also a computer scientist at MIT.

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