The first black hole photographed now has a name

This black hole that you have seen everywhere now has a name.

This was christened Powehi – a Hawaiian expression referring to a "dark source embellished with endless creation".

The very first photograph of a black hole, published around the world, was released Wednesday at its unveiling. It captivated the audience and provided the only direct visual evidence of the existence of these regions of space-time.

Larry Kimura, a Hawaiian language teacher at the University of Hawaii in Hilo, was asked to find a name. He was approached by astronomers participating in the project. Two of the eight telescopes used to capture the photo are located in Hawaii.

Powehi was chosen for its roots in Kumulipo, an 18th-century Hawaiian song that describes a story of creation.

He associates two terms of singing: Po, which means a dark and deep source of endless creation, and wehi (or wehiwehi), which is one of the ways in which po is described in singing.

"It's great that we, the Hawaiians of today, are able to connect to an old identity, as the 2,102 lines of Kumulipo sang, and to showcase this precious legacy for our lives. Kimura said in a statement.

"Having the privilege of giving a Hawaiian name to the very first scientific confirmation of a black hole is very important to me and to my Hawaiian lineage that comes from in," he added. "I hope we can continue to name the future black holes of Hawaii astronomy according to Kumulipo."

Powehi was captured by the Horizon Telescope Event, a project linking eight telescopes from around the world.

The supermassive black hole and its shadow, in the center of a galaxy called M87, were photographed in April 2017, but the results were only revealed on Wednesday.

"We saw what we thought was invisible," said Sheperd Doeleman, director of the Horizon Telescope Collaboration Event, unveiling the historical snapshot. & # 39; We saw and took a picture of a black hole. & # 39;

More than 200 researchers took part in the project and worked for more than ten years to capture the image. The project is named after the horizon of events, the proposed boundary around a black hole that represents the point of no return where no light or radiation can escape.

The telescope network collected 5,000 billion bytes of data over two weeks, which were processed by supercomputers so that scientists could recover the images.

"Powehi, as a name, is so perfect, as it provides true truths about the image of a black hole that we see," said Jessica Dempsey of the James Clerk Maxwell telescope, in a published video by the University of Hawaii about the designation.

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