Black Hole Imaging

During my postdoctoral research at Caltech with Katie Bouman, I've joined the international collaboration of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT).

The EHT has the inspiring goal of imaging black holes. While black holes are not directly observable, the surrounding gas emits radiofrequency light which can be observed by radio telescopes. The first-ever black hole image of M87* captivated many around the world

Using synchronized radio-telescopes, the EHT is able to resolve image features at the event horizon scale allowing to image the invisible. Using Very Large Baseline Interferometry (VLBI), the EHT acts as an effective telescope with an aperture size comparable to the Earth diameter. Each telescope pair (or triplet) determines an image's spatial frequency. The rotation of the Earth helps increase the number of baseline orientations (image frequencies) included in an observation. However, this is reliant on the fact that M87* is static during the course of a night.

My research is focused on developing novel approaches for imaging a dynamic gas environment that evolves during acquisition. This is the case for the black hole in the center of the Milky Way galaxy, SgrA*. I work on developing new computational inference tools for the EHT and Next Generation EHT (ngEHT). Below is a 5-minute video highlighting our work published in ICCV 2021. For the paper, code and presentations see the project page

Publications

  1. Aviad Levis*, Pratul P. Srinivasan*, Andrew A. Chael, Ren Ng, and Katherine L. Bouman. "Gravitationally Lensed Black Hole Emission Tomography", to appear in Proc. IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition, 2022.

  2. Aviad Levis, Daeyoung Lee, Joel A. Tropp, Charles F. Gammie, and Katherine L. Bouman. "Inference of Black Hole Fluid-Dynamics from Sparse Interferometric Measurements", Proc. IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision, 2021.