dr. katie bouman and the black hole photo

last week, the first ever photo of a black hole was released. dr. katie bouman was credited with designing the algorithm that made the complicated process of taking the picture with the event horizon telescope possible.

first black hole photo

the first photo of a black hole. ever. (eht collaboration)

this video from the today show in the united states talks about the backlash (negative reaction) bouman faced online after the black hole pic went public/viral.

the video starts…

humanity revealed a picture of something so huge and amazing, even [albert] einstein hadn’t dared dream it existed.

huge means really big. even emphasizes the position of authority that einstein still occupies today. hadn’t dared is past perfect (auxiliary had + past participle). it refers to when albert einstein theorized the concept of black holes and the time before. dare means have the audacity. it, referring to the black hole, precedes the verb exist. this is different from spanish, where existir precedes the subject, for example existen los agujeros negros.

facebook post by dr. katie bouman after first picture of black hole

bouman’s reaction to the first picture of a black hole (facebook)

at :07 sheperd doeleman, the director of the event horizon telescope, says

we have seen what we thought was unseeable.

have seen is present perfect (auxiliary have/has + past participle). unseeable is impossible to see.

meme of cat with very wide eyes:what has been seen, cannot be unseen

unsee can also mean forget an unpleasant sight

several times during the video u can see a graphic that reads

how internet trolls ruined a scientific marvel

trolls post negative attacks online. scientific is an adjective, NOT a noun like the word scientifico in spanish. scientist is the person in english. a marvel is an amazing event.

trolls movie poster

this movie starring justin timberlake is not about internet trolls

the trolling involved inaccurate (incorrect, imprecise) accusations against bouman; that her participation in the project was less than reported. as the video describes at :39

it was the internet at its worst.

its is a possessive pronoun that refers to the internet. worst is the superlative of badthe most extreme bad.

fun esl practice :) richyrocks english on youtube

at 1:00, nbc news reporter ben collins explains that…

if people with a louder megaphone who know how to corrupt the internet do a better job of explaining history they will win the rhetorical war here.

louder is the comparative for loud (easy to hear). better is the comparative for good. a megaphone is a device used for amplifying voices. rhetorical is related to language and how it is used to convince or persuade.

guy sitting at a computer using a megaphone

corrupting the internet with a loud megaphone

deborah vagins of the american association of university women (1:20) contributes that

women continue to suffer discrimination. this is even moreso when u are a woman working in a male-dominated field.

moreso means the discrimination women face in male-dominated fields is higher. not everybody agrees that moreso is actually a word, it is often written as two words: more so.

illustration of one woman in an office of men

deborah vagins: discrimination against women is higher in male-dominated professions (zeenews.india.com)

the final observation in the video is that

humans can turn our planet into a giant telescope; photograph a one-way portal to eternity larger than our entire solar system. but we can’t protect each other from the web.

turn into means convert. larger is the comparative of large. each other describes a mutual action between members of a group, in this case people in general.

in fact, dr. bouman used facebook to give credit to her whole team.

pull off means have success, especially when the objective difficult. seemingly is the adverb equivalent of the verb seem (appear). a feat is an accomplishment. bouman’s post also uses present perfect continuous (have been working) and present perfect (have had the opportunity).

trolls claimed that one of bouman’s colleagues, andrew chaeldeserved more credit than bouman for the black hole photo. but chael defended bouman’s work and the recognition she received in a series of seven tweets. the last two  are presented here.

    andrew chael tweet (7/7) defending katie bouman

go away is a strong recommendation to leave.  otherwise means if not.  stick around means stay.

what are your feelings about the first ever picture of a black hole and the reaction to katie bouman’s role in the process? share under leave a reply




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