Isn’t it crazy that we can already call 2019 “last year”? Time flies and the World changes. There was some great news that made us happy “last year”. Let’s have a look.
The First Photo of a Black Hole
Reaction of Katie Bouman, who led the creation of an algorithm to produce the first image of a black hole. Katie Bouman was among a team of 200 researchers who contributed to the breakthrough.
In April, scientists working on the Event Horizon Telescope revealed the first image of a Black Hole. A black hole has always been considered invisible, swallowing up light and emitting no detectable radiation; yet, they have shown us what’s the “unseeable”. Actually what we see is its silhouette — and it looks different than most people have expected. The image is of the black hole at the center of galaxy Messier 87 (M87) and shows glowing plasma surrounding the black hole itself, with the darkness at the center revealing the shape and size of the event horizon, as well as key information about how rapidly it's rotating. With one black hole in the picture books, EHT is now looking at others — including Sagittarius A* at the center of our own Milky Way.
Quantum supremacy is here
Google leaked a paper, and the world changed — suddenly, quantum supremacy was here. That milestone, when a quantum computer could solve a problem that a standard computer couldn't in our lifetimes, has been on the horizon for years, with Google predicting they would reach it by 2017, and rivals hoping to do the same. But this year, for the first time, researchers at Google used a quantum processor called "Sycamore" to solve a random sampling problem. Sycamore took three minutes and 20 seconds to spit out an answer; the best of our current supercomputers would take 10,000 years. Quantum supremacy is only the first milestone, but it's now been reached.
Britain went two weeks without coal
Hornsea One Windfarm[/caption]In 2019, the UK hit a major energy milestone: between July and September, renewable power sources produced more electricity than fossil fuels did for the first time. During the three months, renewables produced an estimated 29.5 terawatt hours (TWh) of electricity, compared to 29.1TWh produced by fossil fuels, according to Carbon Brief. Wind power, in particular, has improved this year: the world’s largest offshore windfarm, Hornsea One, in Yorkshire, began generating power in February. Meanwhile World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Scotland revealed in July that Scottish wind turbines produced enough electricity to power 4.47m homes.
We hope that the new year will bring much more news like these! Don’t forget to check 11Sight’s offers to make a fresh start for your business. Have a great year!