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Discover the student who made it possible to have the first image of a black hole

A graduate student from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) led and made possible the wonder of being able to have the first image of a black hole, shared with the world.

The result may not have been achieved without the effort of Katie Bouman, he developed a crucial algorithm in the search for the image.

MEASUREMENTS KATIE BOUMAN
Three years ago, Bouman began to devise an algorithm that eventually helped capture this one-of-a-kind image: a supermassive black hole and its shadow at the center of a galaxy known as M87.

In 2016, while Katie Bouman finished her degree in Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she adopted an algebraic solution to join the data collected through the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) network:

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"IF THE THREE-TELESCOPE MEASUREMENTS ARE MULTIPLIED, THE ADDITIONAL DELAYS CAUSED BY THE ATMOSPHERIC NOISE ARE VOIDED BETWEEN YES. THIS MEANS THAT EACH NEW MEASUREMENT REQUIRES DATA FROM THREE TELESCOPES, NOT JUST TWO, AND THE INCREASE IN ACCURACY COMPENSES THE LOSS OF INFORMATION . "

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It is at this point where the Bouman algorithm game enters the scene, along with others. Using image algorithms such as Bouman's, the researchers created three hyphenated lines of code to reconstruct the image.

"HIS ALGORITHM, AND MANY OTHERS, HELPED FILLING THE VACUUM".

Millions of data were collected about M87, five petabytes of information to be exact, which could not be uploaded to the Internet but were shared on hard drives.

The results were obtained thanks to a technique known as interferometry, which consists of combining light from different receivers, telescopes or radio antennas to obtain a higher resolution image.

So, they took the necessary data from research centers and telescopes and tried to make an image. Over the past few years, Bouman led image verification and image parameter selection.

"WE DEVELOP WAYS TO GENERATE SYNTHETIC DATA AND USE DIFFERENT ALGORITHMS AND TRY BLIND TO SEE IF WE CAN RECOVER AN IMAGE," SAID TO CNN.

"We did not just want to develop an algorithm. We wanted to develop many different algorithms that had different assumptions incorporated. If they all recover the same general structure, then that builds their confidence. "

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A great result
The development of the image was a challenge, because Bouman had to solve a problem: find a physical place to send the huge amount of data collected by telescopes from eight parts of the world, including Mexico.

Fortunately he managed to have the support of his alma mater, and MIT lent him the Haystack MIT observatory, where he stored half a ton of hard drives with images of the black hole, which was completed with the help of his algorithm.

"HIS ALGORITHM, WHICH HE CALLED CHIRP, WAS USED FOR THE CONTINUOUS RECONSTRUCTION OF HIGH-RESOLUTION IMAGES WITH PRIOR PATCHES".

The result? An innovative image of a lopsided and ring-shaped structure, which Albert Einstein predicted more than a century ago in his Theory of General Relativity.

THE IDEAS OF KATIE BOUMAN
Professor of Computer Science, Katie Bouman was an important member of one of the sub-teams of images, said Vincent Fish, research scientist at MIT's Haystack Observatory.

"One of the ideas that Katie brought to our group of images is that there are natural images," Fish said. "Just think about the pictures you take with your camera phone: they have certain properties … If you know what a pixel is, you have a good idea of ​​which pixel is next."

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For example, there are areas that are softer and areas that have defined limits. Astronomical images share these properties, and you can code them mathematically, Fish said.

"THIS IS THE MOMENT IN WHICH THE FIRST IMAGE OF A BLACK HOLE WAS PROCESSED, FROM THE EYES OF THE INVESTIGATOR KATIE BOUMAN."

Part of the research was directed by young people, such as graduate and postdoctoral students. In addition, the telescopes that contributed to this result were:

-SOUL
-APEX
-IRAM 30-meter telescope
-James Clerk Maxwell Telescope
-Great Alfonso Serrano Millimetric Telescope (GTM),
-Submillimeter Array
-Submillimeter Telescope
-South Pole Telescope

Conference of Katie Bouman explaining how to photograph black holes, in 2016:

With information of Very Interesting.

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