An Out of This World Discovery

First ever image of black hole captured

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An Out of This World Discovery

The first ever image of a black hole in space.  Image courtesy Google Images.

The first ever image of a black hole in space. Image courtesy Google Images.

The first ever image of a black hole in space. Image courtesy Google Images.

The first ever image of a black hole in space. Image courtesy Google Images.

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29-year-old Katie Bouman and a massive team of astronomers have captured the first ever recorded image of a black hole in history. This feat was previously thought to be impossible.

How did it happen? According to the California Institute of Technology, scientists theorized that it could be done. A team of experts formed to take on the challenge and created a network of telescopes known as the Event Horizon Telescope, or the EHT. They set out to capture an image of a black hole by improving upon a technique that allows for the imaging of far-away objects, known as Very Long Baseline Interferometry, or VLBI.

A black hole is an area in space that has a gravitational force so strong that essentially nothing can escape its pull, even light, which is what makes it extremely hard to capture the image of it. The group of scientists had to use each of the eight telescopes together and all at once from all across the world to capture the image.

LHS Astronomy teacher, Brian Griffin in the astronomy lab with students.

Lancaster High School astronomy teacher, Brian Griffin commented on the scientific discovery.

“Well since it is the first image of a black hole I’d have to say it’s pretty rare,” he said.

“Prior to this image, we have observed stars orbiting a region where there appeared to be nothing.”

According to many news organizations, Katie Bouman, a 29-year-old computer scientist earned plaudits worldwide for helping to develop the algorithm that created the first-ever image of a black hole.

The remarkable photo shows a halo of dust and gas 500 million trillion km from Earth.

“When we saw it for the first time, we were all in disbelief. it was quite spectacular,” said Bouman in an interview with BBC Radio.

Bouman and a group of 200 astronomers were a major part of the massive achievement. The Event Horizon Telescope that was used to capture the image included a group of eight radio telescopes that were placed all across the world, ranging from the U.S, Europe, and even Antarctica.

Katie Bouman designed an algorithm that made the impossible image become possible

“No one algorithm or person made this image,” said Bouman.

“it required the amazing talent of a team of scientists from around the globe . . . to pull off this seemingly impossible feat,” she said.

In only a few hours after the photo’s momentous release, Bouman became an international sensation, with her name trending on Twitter. She was also being hailed by MIT and the Smithsonian on social media.