Who knew a picture of a hole could be so monumental?
In a distant galaxy far, far away is a black hole, which has now been photographed for the first time. Colossal in size at 40 billion kilometres wide, it is three million times the size of our humble planet earth. And it took 8 linked telescopes to capture such an image.
Source: Event Horizon Telescope (EHT)
What can be seen in the black hole photograph?
If only Johnny Cash were here today to see a true visual depiction of a ring of fire. Perfectly circular, the hole is also so brightly lit that it is, in fact, brighter than all of the other stars in the galaxy - combined. This is why we can seen from earth, despite being 500 million trillion kilometres away.
How did this photograph come to be?
You can give your thanks to Katie Bouman - a 29-year-old computer scientist who helped develop the algorithm that created the pioneering image.You may have even seen the now-incredibly-famous picture of Ms Bouman loading the photograph onto her laptop, which has surged to popularity on Facebook.
Ms Bouman began working on the algorithm three years ago while studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). There she led the project, and has since been hailed by the likes of MIT and the Smithsonian for her incredible work.
Left: MIT computer scientist Katie Bouman w/stacks of hard drives of black hole image data.— MIT CSAIL (@MIT_CSAIL) April 10, 2019
Right: MIT computer scientist Margaret Hamilton w/the code she wrote that helped put a man on the moon.
(image credit @floragraham)#EHTblackhole #BlackHoleDay #BlackHole pic.twitter.com/Iv5PIc8IYd
"We're a melting pot of astronomers, physicists, mathematicians and engineers, and that's what it took to achieve something once thought impossible," Dr Bouman says.
From all of us at Koala Chess Art, we applaud your resilience and determination and congratulate you for providing more insight into our beautiful galaxy.