Bouman delivered a TED talk in 2016 called "How to take a picture of a black hole", where she explained "getting this first picture will come down to an global team of scientists, an Earth-sized telescope and an algorithm that puts together the final picture".
Katie Bouman, a computer scientist, took the lead on creating the algorithm that made it possible to take the photo 55 million light-years away from Earth.
Dr. Bouman led the development of a computer algorithm that made the first-ever image of a black hole possible.
In the image released Wednesday, the black hole is outlined by an orange ring that is actually emission from hot gas swirling near its event horizon. Trying to capture an object that has a gravitational pull so powerful that not only light can escape would intimidate many but for Bouman and her team, it was all part of the fun.
Dr Bouman could not hide her delight. "We would never be able to see into the center of our galaxy in visible wavelengths because there's too much stuff in between", Bouman told MIT News in 2016.More news: Police makes arrests of some suspects in American tourist, guide
Bouman's algorithm was at the heart of coordinating eight telescopes scattered across five continents and aiming them at two black holes scientists are particularly eager to study. They were tasked with essentially hitting go on a supercomputer that would combine the data from each telescope and finally reveal the image the world was anxiously waiting to see.
She is a junior member of a team of researchers at the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT), which is the worldwide radio of telescopes responsible for capturing the historic image.
When those very same researchers were in a fix, thinking they needed a telescope the size of Earth to catch a glimpse of a black hole the size of a billion Suns, Bouman and her team of astronomer colleagues came up with a cleverer, sane alternative.
When she joined the team six years ago, Bouman didn't know a thing about black holes.
"We have taken the first picture of a black hole - a one-way door out of our universe", Doeleman said.More news: Paleontologists Discover Creepy 430 Million-Year-Old 'Cthulhu' Fossil
Katie's method of processing the raw data was instrumental in creating the first ever black hole image. Throughout her talk, she breaks down complexities of programming, imaging and black hole physics in simple (and some, hilarious) metaphors.
Bouman's algorithm - CHIRP (or Continuous High-resolution Image Reconstruction using Patch priors) - uses the sparse data collected from telescopes to help choose and verify an image to help fill in the gaps. This is known as the black hole's shadow or silhouette.
The finding confirmed the existence of massive black holes that some skeptics had continued to doubt, even as science fiction and the entertainment industry have used them to captivate and terrify the earthbound. "We just expected a blob".More news: Lil Nas X's 'Old Town Road' Debuts on Country Airplay Chart