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First picture of a black hole 5 petabytes of data were transferred by plane to get the photo Technology and science | Sciences



The iconic image of the black hole in the M87 galaxy has been an effort of almost a decade in dozens of institutions around the world.

Capture this image It was not as easy as taking a camera and pressing the trigger. Scientists had to sue 5 petabytes (PB) data (each PB has 1,048,576 gigabytes).

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This huge amount of information was collected by eight telescopes on four continents. All of these data had to reach the MIT facilities Haystack Observatory in Boston and Telescope Event Horizon facilities, in Germany, to be processed.

Scientists made the decision move almost half a tonne of hard drives on the planes, it was faster as well. Dan Marrone, associate professor of astronomy at the University of Arizona and involved in the project, said: "There is no internet that can compete with petabytes of data in an airplane".

No broadband in the world can compete with the speed of an airplane to transfer that amount of information, because the places where the data were taken were quite remote, like Antarctica.

To make sure the data arrived without failing, the RAID configuration, which stores the information on several disks to prevent data loss if it fails and so were covered with ice to preserve them at an optimal temperature.

The final image does not have the weight of 5 petabytes, explains the researchers. This amount of information has been processed by one automatic learning algorithm designed by engineer Katie Bouman, from MIT.

Image has longed for many years and so far only a simulated computer, has been published in six articles of the scientific journal Astrophysical Journal Letters, signed by more than 200 authors from more than 60 scientific organizations. Presented at six simultaneous press conferences around the world in places like Brussels and Santiago de Chile.

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