Meet Dr. Katie Bouman, the Scientist who Gave Us the First Ever Image of a Black Hole

In November 2016, a young PhD student from MIT, Katie Bouman gave a TED Talk titled How to Take A Picture of a Black Hole. Because — despite thousands and thousands of artists illustrations and computer renderings based on mathematical models — no one has ever managed to photograph the elusive celestial anomaly. Because by definition, black holes are, well, black and exceptionally tiny from a celestial standpoint.

Today, NASA unveiled the first ever photo of a black hole, thanks to Dr. Katie Bouman, who developed an algorithm that turned telescopic data into an image that we can see with the human eye. The image has rocketed around the Internet as has the photo of Dr. Bouman giddy with excitement as her laptop displays the first rendered image of a black hole based on real data from telescopes.

The first photo ever taken of a black hole.
The first photo ever taken of a black hole.

Dr. Katie Bouman watches the first ever photo of a black hole render on her laptop.

“Watching in disbelief as the first image I ever made of a black hole was in the process of being reconstructed. ” –Dr. Katie Bouman
(photo courtesy of Facebook)