The first black hole to be photographed now has a name.



That black hole you've seen everywhere now has a name.

It has been baptized as Powehi, a Hawaiian phrase that refers to a "dark fountain embellished with endless creation".

The revolutionary first black hole photograph was published around the world when it was presented on Wednesday, captivating viewers and providing the only direct visual evidence that these regions of space-time exist.

The responsibility for finding a name fell to Larry Kimura, a Hawaiian language teacher at the University of Hawaii in Hilo, who was approached by the astronomers involved in the project. Two of the eight telescopes used to capture the photograph are located in Hawaii.

Powehi was chosen for its roots in the Kumulipo, a Hawaiian chant of the eighteenth century that describes a creation story.

It brings together two terms of the song: Po, which means deep dark source of endless creation, and wehi (or wehiwehi), which is one of several ways in which po is described in song.

"It's amazing that we, like the Hawaiians of today, can connect with a long-standing identity, as they chanted the 2,102 lines of the Kumulipo, and present this precious heritage for our lives today," Kimura said in a statement.

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

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

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

"We've seen what we thought you could not see," said Sheperd Doeleman, director of the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, unveiling the historic moment. & # 39; We have seen and taken a picture of a black hole & # 39;

More than 200 researchers participated in the project, and had worked for more than a decade to capture the image. The project is named after the event horizon, the proposed limit around a black hole that represents the point of no return where light and radiation can not escape.

The set of telescopes collected 5,000 trillion bytes of data for two weeks, which were processed through supercomputers so that scientists could retrieve the images.

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


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