Right: MIT computer scientist Margaret Hamilton w/the code.
The algorithm, which Bouman called CHIRP (Continuous High-resolution Image Reconstruction using Patch priors) was needed to combine data from the eight radio telescopes across the world working beneath Event Horizon Telescope, the international collaboration which caught the black hole picture, then turn it into a cohesive picture.
The algorithm refined the images to prepare the closing historic image of the hole and then rebuilt. CHIRP may be used for any imaging system that uses radio interferometry.
The development of the algorithm which made it feasible to create the first image ever of a black hole was led by computer scientist Katie Bouman while she was a graduate student at MIT. Bouman shared a photograph of herself responding as the historical picture was processing, on Facebook.
To learn more about how the algorithm was developed, check out Bouman’s 2016 TED speak:
Left: MIT computer scientist Katie Bouman w/stacks of hard drives of hole image information.
Bouman is now a postdoctoral fellow with Event Horizon Telescope and will start as an assistant professor at Caltech’s mathematical and computing sciences department, according to her website.
As the MIT explained it three decades back, the job sought”to turn the entire world to a large radio telescope dish.”
Since astronomical signals reach the radio telescopes at slightly different rates, the investigators needed to figure out how to account for visual information could be extracted and this so calculations could be accurate.
As MIT explained:
Bouman embraced a smart solution to this problem: If the measurements from three telescopes are slowed, the delays brought on by sound cancel each other out. The increase in precision constitutes the loss of data, although this can mean that every new dimension requires data from three telescopes, not two.