A grad student made the viral black hole photo possible

Eloise Marshall
December 1, 2019

Astronomers on Wednesday unveiled the first photo of a black hole, one of the star-devouring monsters scattered throughout the Universe and obscured by impenetrable shields of gravity.

"So apparently some (I hope very few) people online are using the fact that I am the primary developer of the eht-imaging software library.to launch terrible and sexist attacks on my colleague and friend Katie Bouman".

Katie Bouman reacts to the image of black hole.

He tweeted Thursday: "People online are using the fact that I am the primary developer of the eht-imaging software library to launch very bad and sexist attacks Katie". The woman behind the first photo of a black hole rendered a set of photographs taken by the telescope using her algorithm. PLEASE USE Dr. Katie Bouman! She wrote alongside, "Watching in disbelief as the first image I ever made of a black hole was in the process of being reconstructed".

To address this issue, scientists used multiple telescopes and merged their results using the special algorithm created by Bouman.

The thread was titled: 'Can we acknowledge Andrew Chael?

Katie Bouman wonders if it's possible to see something that, by definition, is impossible to see. Neither he or the man who invented the algorithm, Mareki Honma, received any credit'.

The sheer distance of the black hole from Earth meant it would be akin to photographing an orange on the Moon's surface.

"No one of us could've done it alone", Bouman in an interview with CNN.

"We could've just gotten a blob".

Feryal Ozel, an astrophysicist at the University of Arizona who was the modeling and analysis lead on the project, told ABC News the gender breakdown was "pretty dismal", noting that there were about three senior women, including herself, out of about 200 total scientists on the project.

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'You can give him credit without trying to take away hers, ' another chimed in.

As the project's website explains, the light data can tell researchers about the structure of the black hole, but there is still missing data which stops them from creating a complete image.

Still there were some sexist responses.

One Twitter user wrote: "Lmao this is ridiculously true".

He defended Bouman, saying that her work was as vital to achieve their goal as the work of many other members of the team.

When the world was talking about the biggest ever black hole news, not many knew who were the people behind the massive discovery.

Visual versions of that argument - memes - began circulating on social media, suggesting that Chael's contribution had been overlooked because he wrote "850,000 of the 900,000" lines of the ethim code.

'There are about 68,000 lines in the current software, and I don't care how many of those I personally authored, ' he tweeted.

He added that sexist trolls praising him are actually just hiding behind a false narrative.

Bouman quickly became a symbol for women in science.

"I'm thrilled Katie is getting recognition for her work", Chael wrote, "and that she's inspiring people as an example of women's leadership in STEM". All they need are more telescopes to hopefully capture sharper images of this mysterious object.

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