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Making the Ultimate Darkness Visible

Last week, Harvard Gazette posted an interview with Astronomer and Radcliffe fellow Dimitrios Psaltis. He is a professor of Astronomy and Physics at the University of Arizona and a member of the Theoretical Astrophysics Program.

As one of the lead scientists of the massive Event Horizon Telescope project, that will point a number of Earth’s telescopes at the Milky Way’s black hole this spring, he is working on capturing the first-ever image of the black holes.

Is this subject only accessible for brilliant scientists? Don’t worry, non-science folks: Speaker Katie Bouman will help us out! As a PhD candidate in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she focuses on using emerging computational methods to push the boundaries of interdisciplinary imaging. Last year, Katie and her team developed an algorithm that could finally show us a photo of an actual black hole. In order to capture a picture of the supermassive black hole in the center of our galaxy, we would need an enormous telescope with an even bigger diameter. Since it’s impossible to build something that massive, the algorithm that  Katie and her team developed is a huge step foreward.

On Saturday, November 19th Katie will give a talk that appeals both to brilliant scientists those of us in other disciplines.  Join us to hear from Katie and learn how you can see one of the biggest mysteries in space!