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Meet Katie Bouman, the woman who transformed our view of black holes forever



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Social media wants you to know Katie Bouman's name.


Screenshot / CNET
                                                

It's been a huge day for science.

On Wednesday, we Earthlings got our first direct look at a black hole, thanks to the Event Horizon Telescope an array of eight radio telescopes around the world working together to create the image. But in the midst of making jokes about how this photo kinda sorta looks at eye ​​of Sauron and wondering how this newfound information could affect Albert Einstein's gravity theories, social media focused on making sure one of the women behind the Project gets credit for her contributions.

Katie Bouman, an MIT Grad, helped develop a computer program while still in school. Along with others, it helped to create the image of the black hole.

Part of what's made her popular are two photos that spread across social media. In one photo from the BBC, Bouman is standing next to a table stacked with hard drives of data.

Another reason for her name is suddenly shooting around social media: history has rarely given women scientists the recognition they deserve. Take Hidden Figures for example, which tells the story of the women who calculated John Glenn's flight trajectory.

Bouman did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but told CNN, "No one of us could've done it alone."

She also posted a photo on Facebook of her reaction to seeing the black hole images.

Bouman delivered a TED talk in 2016 entitled "How to take a picture of a black hole, "where she explained" getting this first picture will come down to an international team of scientists, a Earth-sized telescope and an algorithm that puts the final picture together. "


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