World’s first ever Black Hole photograph now has a name. It’s been named as “Powehi” — a Hawaiian phrase referring to an “embellished dark source of unending creation.”
It is a combination of 2 words: Po, meaning the profound dark source of unending creation, and wehi (or wehiwehi) which is one of the several ways that po is described in the chant.
The responsibility of finding it a name fell to Larry Kimura, a Hawaiian language professor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, who was approached by astronomers involved with the project.
On Wednesday, Scientists at the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) releases the first pic of Black Hole. The supermassive black hole is at the center of the Messier 87 galaxy, which is 55 million light years away from Earth. More than 200 researchers were involved in the project, and they had worked for more than a decade to capture the image.
The telescope array collected 5 Petabytes of data over two weeks, which was processed through supercomputers so that the scientists could retrieve the images.
The International Astronomical Union usually takes care of names, but only for stuff inside our solar system and stars outside it. It doesn’t have a committee set up to handle other objects, like black holes, galaxies or nebulas.