Black hole named ‘Powehi’ by Hawaii university professor

Author: 
Associated Press
ID: 
1555035189495233600
Fri, 2019-04-12 05:09

HILO, Hawaii: A language professor has given a Hawaiian name —
Powehi — to the black hole depicted in an image produced in a
landmark experiment.
University of Hawaii-Hilo Hawaiian Professor Larry Kimura named the
cosmic object, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday.
The world’s first image of a black hole revealed Wednesday was
created using data from eight radio telescopes around the
world.
Powehi, which means “the adorned fathomless dark creation” or
“embellished dark source of unending creation”, comes from the
Kumulipo, an 18th century Hawaiian creation chant. Po is a profound
dark source of unending creation, while wehi, honored with
embellishments, is one of the chant’s descriptions of po, the
newspaper reported.
“To have the privilege of giving a Hawaiian name to the very
first scientific confirmation of a black hole is very meaningful to
me and my Hawaiian lineage that comes from po,” Kimura said in a
news release.
A Hawaiian name was justified because the project included two
Hawaii telescopes, astronomers said.
“As soon as he said it, I nearly fell off my chair,” said
Jessica Dempsey, deputy director of the James Clerk Maxwell
Telescope on Mauna Kea.
Dempsey was among 200 scientists who worked to capture an image of
the massive black hole in the M87 galaxy nearly 54 million
light-years from Earth, the newspaper reported.
Dempsey said Powehi is an excellent match for the scientific
explanation provided to Kimura.
“We described what we had seen and that this black hole was
illuminating and brightening the darkness around it, and that’s
when he came up with the name,” she said.

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Source: *FS – All – Science News Net
Black hole named ‘Powehi’ by Hawaii university professor