"To me it's just the beginning," stated Dr. Katie Bouman of the world's first true image of a black hole, released last week by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) collaboration and streamed live by the US National Science Foundation. Bouman, who is Jewish, was part of the team that created an algorithm put together from telescopes worldwide to create a photo of the the deep space phenomenon.
"Even though we predicted that if you had a black hole you would see a ring of light, we didn't know we were going to get that ring. It could have been just a blob," she explained, adding that the black hole has a "size that is consistent with other measurements that had been done completely differently."
"The asymmetry and the fact that it's brighter on the bottom shows us how gases flow," Bouman stated.
Dr. Katie Bouman on what the first ever image of a black hole means for scienceDr. Katie Bouman, who led the creation of an algorithm that helped capture the first ever image of a black hole, tells us what this breakthrough means for science Posted by Nature News and Comment on Thursday, April 11, 2019
The researcher said her team is interested in "developing the techniques to expand our algorithms" and is excited for the next step.
Bouman was instrumental in the development of the black hole imaging algorithm called Continuous High-resolution Image Reconstruction using Patch priors, or CHIRP.
Previously, indirect evidence and a great deal of speculation had been published concerning the mysterious existence of black holes. They include measures of black holes clashing and their possible location, and the uncovering of gas clouds rotating around them, conducted by a Tel Aviv University team of astrophysicists and published in Nature last November.
Black holes have fascinated science lovers and the wide public alike since the first modern solution for characterizing them in 1916 by the German physicist Karl Schwarzschild. Cassandra Gomes-Hochberg contributed to this article.