When Was The First Black Hole Image Ever Taken?

The official date of the first-ever image of a black hole is the 10th of April, 2019. Dr Katie Bouman’s algorithm processed the image and brought it to life.

As a result of her work, we can see a supermassive black hole, at the centre of the M87 galaxy.

photograph of a black hole surrounded by orange light
First-ever direct photograph of a black hole, taken by the Event Horizon Telescope and published in April 2019.
By Event Horizon Telescope – https://www.eso.org/public/images/eso1907a/; JPG saved from full size TIFF and converted with maximum quality level 12 in Photoshop 2019., CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77916527

Who Took The First Black Hole Image?

Moreover, this remarkable scientific breakthrough is a result of a 3-year long work by Katie Bouman, an MIT graduate.

The credits for the first black hole image go to:

  • joint efforts of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory,
  • the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the
  • MIT Haystack Observatory.

Because of this amazing scientific endeavour, the human kind can see the first-ever black hole image.

Can you believe it is 55 million light years far from Earth? Uniquely, Katie’s algorithm processed the image captured by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).

flat image of the earth and geolocations of participants of the Event Horizon Telescope
Image shows all locations of the participating telescopes of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) and the Global mm-VLBI Array (GMVA)
By ESO/O. Furtak – https://www.eso.org/public/images/ann17015a/, CC BY 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=57580702

200 scientists are operating the array of telescopes that took the photo.

Hence, the area covers ground from Chile to Antarctica. Despite Katie’s impressive algorithm, she shares credits with an entire team.

When Was The Image Of The Black Hole Actually Taken?

The official date of the first-ever image of a black hole will be 10th of April 2019.

However, did you know that the first image was actually taken a year before? Ordinarily, the results are being published without any delay.

Nonetheless, the data was being thoroughly analyzed for over a year.

Regardless of its official release date, it is a spectacular achievement!

Katie Bouman – Woman Scientist Who Built The Algorithm

Katie is a remarkable academic, holding a bachelor’s degree in science from the University of Michigan. Besides that, she carries an MIT master of science degree.

Dr Katie Bouman works as an assistant professor of computing and mathematical sciences at CALTECH.

As a result of her achievements, Katie deserved a place in history. Katie Bouman is the first scientist who captured an image of the black hole.

Similarly, in light of her achievements, people are comparing Katie Bouman with Margaret Hamilton, the first woman scientist who programmed the Apollo guidance software.

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