First came the stunning picture, the first ever to show a black hole in a galaxy some 55 million light-years from Earth.
Then came the dizzying realization that this is a remarkable year. Without the work of a 29-year-old scientist claiming a special place in history, this moment would not have been possible.
Katherine Bouman, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, developed an algorithm that assembled the unique image. And after the picture of the world was unveiled on Wednesday, Bouman began to receive awards from scientists, historians, and politicians for their significant achievement.
"Given the scale of the use of" historical ", today we've jumped unchallenged and legitimately on the # BlackHolePicture band wagon Congratulations, Dr. Bouman!" The Royal Historical Society wrote on social media.
Bouman started as a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on an algorithm and studied electrical engineering and computer science.
According to Ben Guarino of the Washington Post:
"She was one of about three dozen computer scientists using algorithms to process data extracted from the Event Horizon Telescope project, a worldwide collaboration of astronomers, engineers and mathematicians
"Telescopes around the world collected high-frequency radio waves from near Messier 87, a supermassive black hole 54 million light-years away. But the atmospheric disturbance and the reduction in measurements meant that "an infinite number of possible images" could explain the data, Bouman said. Well thought-out algorithms had to fight through the chaos. "
When the very first picture was presented on Wednesday, it caused an overwhelming amount of excitement on the Internet, not only for science, but also for the scientist behind it.
"I am inspired by Katie Bouman," wrote the Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, on Twitter.
The mood has been shared on social media.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: "Take your rightful place in history, dr. Bouman! Congratulations and thank you for your enormous contribution to the progress of science and humanity.
The Barbie report on Twitter wrote: "Congratulations Katie Bouman on this remarkable achievement! Thank you for setting a good example and encouraging girls to push the boundaries of science. "
" Tip of the Hat to Katie Bouman of MIT for her contribution to today's big announcement! "Wrote the Planetary Society led by Bill Nye 19659018]