Hawaiian language professor Larry Kimura was granted the honor and named the black hole Powehi, a phrase that means "embellished dark source of unending creation".
Hawaii Gov. David Ige issued a proclamation declaring April 10 "Pōwehi Day" for the discovery, but formally adopting any name beyond the state would require input from the International Astronomical Union, a worldwide consortium of more than 200 scientists and various institutions, The New York Times reported Saturday. The reason for a Hawaiian name is that 2 out of the 8 telescopes are in Hawaii.
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"As soon as he said it, I almost fell off my chair", Jessica Dempsey, deputy director of the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope on Mauna Kea, told the Honolulu Star Advertiser. According to the Event Horizon Telescope, the global collaboration behind the black hole image project, two of the eight telescopes used to capture the black hole image are stationed in Hawaii. Jessica Dempsey, a co-discoverer of the black hole, says the word is an excellent match for the scientific description she provided to Kimura.
Earlier this week the world received the first ever photographs of an actual black hole, and now Soundgarden fans are petitioning to name the phenomenon after the band's late frontman Chris Cornell. The project gathered 5,000 trillion bytes of data in two weeks, which was then processed through supercomputers for scientists.
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"We have seen what we thought was unseeable", said Sheperd Doeleman, director of the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration, unveiling the historic snap. Anything that passes its point of no return will be consumed, "never to re-emerge", as the black hole's "unimaginably strong gravity" takes hold. Researchers are now pointing their eyes towards the supermassive black hole at the heart of our own Milky Way galaxy.
The groundbreaking picture of the black hole, which is at the centre of a galaxy named Messier 87 about 54 million light years away, was released during six simultaneous news conferences on Wednesday. The black hole is also more variable than Powehi, which makes it more hard to image, but researchers are now optimistic.
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