The first black hole photographed was named Poehi.
A photograph of the black hole in the center of the Messier 87 galaxy published on April 10 made a lot of noise – it was printed on the main pages of almost all newspapers. All this time she was called simply as a “black hole”, but now she has the official name – Poehi. The name was suggested by Hawaiian professor Hilo Larry Kimura and was gladly accepted by the celestial community. After all, 8 telescopes participated in the shooting of a space object, and two of them were located in Hawaii.
Professor Larry Kimura explained that the name Poehi is closely related to the Hawaiian creation myths. Literally, “Powehi” can be translated as “decorated bottomless dark creation” or “immense emptiness”: a part of “Po” implies a deep dark source of endless creation, and “wehi” is something that is adorned with ornaments. According to astronomers, the chosen word perfectly describes the photo taken.
Writing the name of the first black hole photographed is a big part for me and my Hawaiian ancestry.
Hilo Larry Kimura, a professor at the University of Hawaii
Scientists from all over the world wanted to see a black hole from the distant 1960s — they knew about their existence, but it was impossible to photograph them. The way the scientists went to this significant day is a whole story about which you can read in our special material. We also recommend that you familiarize yourself with the answers to the three main questions that may arise when viewing a historical photograph.
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