Tech & Science

First image of a black hole gets a makeover with AI

NEW YORK — The first images of a black hole taken four years ago revealed a blurry, fiery donut-shaped object. now, Researchers used artificial intelligence to modify the beauty of that universe.

An updated photo, published Thursday in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, retains its original shape but shows thinner rings and sharper resolution.

Images released in 2019 provided a glimpse of the massive black hole at the center of the M87 galaxy, 53 million light-years from Earth. Light years he is 5.8 trillion miles. It was created using data collected by a network of radio telescopes around the world and shows swirling light and gas.

But even with many telescopes working together, gaps in the data remained. In the latest research, scientists have relied on the same data and used machine learning to fill in the missing pieces.

The resulting picture is similar to the original, but the “doughnut” is thinner and has a darker center, the researchers said.

“For me, it feels like the first time I’ve actually seen it,” said lead author Lia Medeiros, an astrophysicist at the Institute for Advanced Study in New Jersey.

The team also plans to use machine learning to image other celestial bodies, such as the black hole at the center of the Milky Way, Medeiros said.


The Associated Press’ Health Sciences Division is supported by the Scientific and Educational Media Group at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.

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