This Week in STEM: April 8, 2019

This Week in STEM: April 8, 2019

Blog Contributed by Dr. Christopher Murphy, Chief Strategic Growth & Communications Officer for Concept Schools, @DrChrisMurphy

Astrophysicists release the first image of a black hole

MIT & National Science Foundation

3 years ago MIT grad student Katie Bouman led the creation of a new algorithm to produce the first-ever image of a black hole.

The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) — a planet-scale array of eight ground-based radio telescopes forged through international collaboration — was designed to capture images of a black hole. Today, in coordinated press conferences across the globe, EHT researchers reveal that they have succeeded, unveiling the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow.

This breakthrough was announced in a series of six papers published in a special issue of The Astrophysical Journal Letters. The image reveals the black hole at the center of Messier 87, a massive galaxy in the nearby Virgo galaxy cluster. This black hole resides 55 million light-years from Earth and has a mass 6.5-billion times that of the Sun.

Meet The Indian-American Host Of Netflix’s STEM Series ‘Brainchild’

Forbes

Indian-American actress Sahana Srinivasan stars in the Netflix original series “Brainchild.”

Netflix’s new show Brainchild offers a refreshing take on science “edutainment,” but with a twist: The lead is a woman of color.

In the 13-episode first season, released November 2018, the show’s Indian-American host, Sahana Srinivasan, explores STEM-focused topics, ranging from the science of selfies to the rationale behind the widely held “five-second-rule.” Created in partnership with hip-hop mogul Pharrell Williams, the show features a diverse cast that’s intended to appeal to girls and minorities.

Why April, May and June Are Most Active and Dangerous Months of Year For Tornadoes

The Weather Channel

April kicks off what is typically the most active and dangerous three-month period of the year for tornadoes in the United States.

Strong tornadoes can occur in any month, as we saw in early March when 23 people were killed by an EF4 twister in Lee County, Alabama. But weather history shows April, May and June are the months with the most potential of having both the greatest number of tornadoes and the most intense tornadoes in a given year.

The U.S. averaged 1,239 tornadoes annually during the 20 years from 1998 to 2017, 55 percent of which were sandwiched between April and June.

May has seen the most tornadoes each year, with an average of 279. This is followed by June and April, which average 213 and 192 tornadoes per year, respectively.