Albuquerque native helps create first-ever image of black hole

New Mexico

It took a whole team of scientists to create the first-ever image of a black hole, and an Albuquerque native was the lead developer of the software that made it happen.

Astrophysicist Andrew Chael grew up in Albuquerque and graduated from Manzano High School. He went on to earn a degree from Harvard.

Chael was the lead developer who helped create the software that made it possible to see the black hole. Though, he’s making headlines for a different reason.

The Manzano grad is taking to Twitter to defend his colleague, 29-year-old Katie Bouman. She is going viral after posting a picture of her next to a computer with the caption, “Watching in disbelief as the first image I ever made of a black hole was in the process of being reconstructed.” 

Quickly, Twitter trolls started questioning how much work Bouman actually did—until Chael set them straight.

On Twitter, Chael said while he did write a lot of code, the attacks against Bouman are ‘sexist.’

He went on to say she was a ‘huge contributor’ and it ‘wouldn’t have worked without her.’

UNM says one of their grads was also part of the effort. Astrophysicist Raquel Fraga-Encinas was on another team that worked for the last two years to achieve the milestone.

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