Arguably the most famous black hole of all time now has an apt name.
Powehi is the name that's been given to the black hole recently designated as the first to be captured in a direct image, per The Guardian. The name is derived from the 18th century sacred Hawaiian creation chant, the Kumulipo, and is said to point to an "embellished dark source of unending creation" and/or "the adorned fathomless dark creation."
In comments given to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Thursday, the professor who came up with the name—University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo's Larry Kimura—said the opportunity was a "privilege" and "very meaningful" in terms of his Hawaiian lineage.
At a press conference earlier this week, Event Horizon Telescope Project Director Dr. Sheperd Doeleman noted the historical importance of the image of the then-nameless black hole.
"In April of 2017, all the dishes in the event horizon telescope swiveled, turned, and stared at a galaxy 55 million lightyears away . . . There's a supermassive black hole at its core and we delighted to be able to report to you today that we have seen what we thought was unseeable," he said at the time to applause. "We have seen and taken a picture of a black hole."
This inspiring moment of scientific victory has, as the Associated Press pointed out in their initial report on the feat Wednesday, also fittingly resulted in chatter of a possible Nobel Prize for participating researchers.