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A photo of this researcher's unbridled joy after creating the first black hole image is going viral.
First image of a black hole seen from Earth. Handout/Getty Images.

April 10, 2019 was an epic day for humanity. We saw the first ever photographic image of a black hole. The photo was taken of an object located in a galaxy 500 quadrillion kilometers from Earth and has a mass 6.5 billion times that of our sun.

The amazing feat was accomplished by a team of 200 scientists over the course of 10 days, using eight linked telescopes positioned around the globe.

While the breathtaking image of the black hole has been seen all over the world, there’s another photo that represents the unbridled joy of discovery that’s going viral alongside it.


[rebelmouse-image 19534926 dam="1" original_size="723x726" caption="via Facebook" expand=1]via Facebook

Dr. Katie Bouman shared a photo over herself "watching in disbelief" at the creation of the image on Facebook and, in one day, it’s been shared over 38,000 times. Dr. Bouman is a computer scientist who created an algorithm at MIT that would eventually lead to the creation of the image.

Hers was one of several algorithms that helped merge the data collected from the telescopes placed around the world.

“I’ve been working on this project for almost six years now, and for the last year, we’ve basically had to have our lips sealed about this exact imaging process,” she told the Washington Post. “Even my family, I haven’t been able to tell them yet,” she added. “But it’s so amazing to be able to finally tell the world.”

Bouman “was a major part of the imaging subteams,” Vincent Fish, a research scientist, told CNN. “One of the insights Katie brought to our imaging group is that there are natural images,” Fish said. “Just think about the photos you take with your camera phone ― they have certain properties. ... If you know what one pixel is, you have a good guess as to what the pixel is next to it.”

The photo of Dr. Bouman beaming with joy over her team’s amazing achievement is also an empowering image for women everywhere.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics women are underrepresented in the science, engineering, math and technology, or STEM, fields. They comprise just 39% of chemists and material scientists, 28% of environmental scientists and geoscientists, 16% of chemical engineers, and just 12% of civil engineers.

Tamy Emma Pepin, the award-winning television host of #TamyUSA, tweeted out Dr. Bouman’s photo and it received over 280,000 favorites.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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RumorGuard by The News Literacy Project.

The 2016 election was a watershed moment when misinformation online became a serious problem and had enormous consequences. Even though social media sites have tried to slow the spread of misleading information, it doesn’t show any signs of letting up.

A NewsGuard report from 2020 found that engagement with unreliable sites between 2019 and 2020 doubled over that time period. But we don’t need studies to show that misinformation is a huge problem. The fact that COVID-19 misinformation was such a hindrance to stopping the virus and one-third of American voters believe that the 2020 election was stolen is proof enough.

What’s worse is that according to Pew Research, only 26% of American adults are able to distinguish between fact and opinion.

To help teach Americans how to discern real news from fake news, The News Literacy Project has created a new website called RumorGuard that debunks questionable news stories and teaches people how to become more news literate.

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Family

A mom describes her tween son's brain. It's a must-read for all parents.

"Sometimes I just feel really angry and I don’t know why."

This story originally appeared on 1.05.19


It started with a simple, sincere question from a mother of an 11-year-old boy.

An anonymous mother posted a question to Quora, a website where people can ask questions and other people can answer them. This mother wrote:

How do I tell my wonderful 11 year old son, (in a way that won't tear him down), that the way he has started talking to me (disrespectfully) makes me not want to be around him (I've already told him the bad attitude is unacceptable)?

It's a familiar scenario for those of us who have raised kids into the teen years. Our sweet, snuggly little kids turn into moody middle schoolers seemingly overnight, and sometimes we're left reeling trying to figure out how to handle their sensitive-yet-insensitive selves.


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