The scientist who helped discover the Black Hole in Milky Way says this is “only the beginning”

Katie Bouman, the scientist who played a key role in the discovery of the massive black hole in the Milky Way, says this is “only the beginning”, as she chases bigger goals.

| Updated on: Aug 22 2022, 12:10 IST
Katie Bouman
After playing a key role in taking images of the massive black hole in the Milky Way, Katie Bouman claims this is “only the beginning”. (Wikimedia)
Katie Bouman
After playing a key role in taking images of the massive black hole in the Milky Way, Katie Bouman claims this is “only the beginning”. (Wikimedia)

Katie Bouman made the headlines after playing a crucial role in the scientific expedition that led to discovering the massive blackhole in the Milky Way, our home galaxy. But the 33-years old scientist is far from done. In a recent interview with AFP, when asked about his monumental achievement, she said that it was “only the beginning”. She believes that after confirming the existence of the black hole, it is important to capitalize on this information by building specific instruments to study it.

Bouman is an assistant professor in the Computing and Mathematical Sciences Department at the California Institute of Technology. Prior to this, she was a postdoctoral fellow in the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. She is also an expert in computational imaging and has developed multiple algorithms to observe distant space and celestial objects. She gained fame for her CHIRP (Continuous High-resolution Image Reconstruction using Patch priors) algorithm which resulted in the first image of a black hole in 2019. In 2022, the same algorithm helped in identifying a black hole in Milky Way. Also read: Earth has too much gold and nobody can understand why?

After discovering the black hole in Milky way, Katie Bouman is ready for more space exploration

In an interview with AFP, she said, “The first one was just so exciting because it was the first one, and just being able to see a black hole for the first time was spectacular. But I think the holy grail of the Event Horizon Telescope has always been to image Sagittarius A*”

“I think this is really only the beginning. And now that we know that we have these extreme laboratories of gravity, we can go back and we can improve our instruments and improve our algorithms in order to see more and to extract more science,” she added. It remains to be seen what other achievements she goes for now.

Sagittarius A* (pronounced “Sagittarius A-star) is a massive black hole residing in the heart of our Milky Way galaxy which went unnoticed this entire time. The discovery of the black hole has caused excitement in the scientific community as this is one of the nearest black holes we have witnessed so far. This gives scientists an opportunity to observe and gain information about it. As black holes have been associated with distorting the space-time continuum and displaying extremely high gravitational pull, scientists believe they can know more about the universe by studying the black hole.

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First Published Date: 13 May, 13:02 IST