Imaging a Black Hole with the Event Horizon Telescope

26 Apr
Electrical Engineering Seminar Series
Katie Bouman, California Institute of Technology
Friday, April 26, 2019 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm
Maxwell Dworkin G125

This talk will present the methods and procedures used to produce the first results from the Event Horizon Telescope. It is theorized that a black hole will leave a "shadow" on a background of hot gas. Taking a picture of this black hole shadow could help to address a number of important scientific questions, both on the nature of black holes and the validity of general relativity. Unfortunately, due to its small size, traditional imaging approaches require an Earth-sized radio telescope. In this talk, I discuss techniques we have developed to photograph a black hole using the Event Horizon Telescope, a network of telescopes scattered across the globe. Imaging a black hole’s structure with this computational telescope requires us to reconstruct images from sparse measurements, heavily corrupted by atmospheric error.

Speaker Bio: 

Katie Bouman is starting as an assistant professor in the Computing and Mathematical Sciences Department at the California Institute of Technology. She has been a postdoctoral fellow with the Event Horizon Telescope in the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. She received her Ph.D. in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT in EECS. Before going to MIT, she received her bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan. The focus of her research is on using emerging computational methods to push the boundaries of interdisciplinary imaging.


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