5 Things About the Woman Behind the First Black Hole Image

She’s only 29 years old

We’ve all seen the first ever image of a black hole on our screens by now. But who is behind it? Her name is Dr Katie Bouman and this woman is GOALS. Here’s why.

1. She’s 29 Years Old with a Background in Comp Sci

At only 29, Dr Katie Bouman created the first ever image of a black hole. In an inspiring post, this computer-scientist is at her laptop, “watching in disbelief” as her historic image was reconstructed. Time reports that her passion is “coming up with ways to see or measure things that are invisible”.

2. She Worked On the Algorithm that Changed the Game

Three years ago, she started creating the algorithm that made this image possible, Refinery29 reports. With a team of world-class scientists, she led the project while she was still an MIT graduate student. The algorithm cut through the noise of half a ton of hard-drives full of data – to give us this one unbelievable image.

3. She says this Mind-blowing Image is Just the Beginning

The actual image shows a ring of light with the gaping black hole in the middle. It looks a bit like a donut. But it is, in fact, an abyss with a gravitational pull so strong that not even light can escape it. It exists at the center of the Messier 87 galaxy 55 million light years from Earth, according to The Cut.

Just being able to see that ring is a HUGE step in science. Watch her speak about it here:


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Speak about the significance of today’s black hole breakthrough: #KatieBouman #BlackHole #EHTBlackHole #BlackHoleDay

A post shared by Katie Bouman (@dr.katiebouman) on

The photograph was captured by the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). This is a pretty amazing piece of tech that involves eight linked telescopes.

4. Politicians Have Praised Her Work

U.S. politicians have acknowledged her incredible achievement and couldn’t be prouder.

5. She Has a Message for Women in STEM

For all women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), Dr Bouman has a message for you:

“As long as you’re excited and you’re motivated to work on it, then you should never feel like you can’t do it,” – Dr Katie Bouman told Time.

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