The moment Jessica Dempsey, deputy director of the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope at Mauna Kea in Hawaii, had trouble coming up with a new and improved name for a deep-space detection system in the previous year, she called Uncle Larry for help. Uncle Larry, officially known as Larry Kimura, an associate professor of Hawaiian language and studies at the University of Hawai’i, paid attention to Jessica as she described the system as something that is designed to aid spot cold dark things in space and light invisible to the naked eye.
Right at the very moment, Larry arrived on the proposition of “namakanui,” a name derived from a nocturnal fish with large eyes living in the marine habitats of Hawaii. 6 months forward into the future, the ideas of Professor Kimura would generate a relatively wider consideration after authorities accredited him for coming up with a name for the first-ever image of a black hole.
Dr. Dempsey and other scientists defined the figure to professor Kimura a couple of weeks back, and she shared she witnessed his face “just light up.” In an instance where she referred to as “astonishing” and “mind-bending,” he arrived on a certain Hawaiian word for the black hole which required scientists’ six scientific studies to grasp: pōwehi. The word comes from the Kumulipo, an ancient Hawaiian creation chant that contains 2,102 lines with the meaning “the adorned fathomless dark creation.” The name is rooted from “pō,” which translates to great, immeasurable and never-ending creation, and “wehi,” an honor given to an individual fit to wear a crown, Professor Kimura revealed during an interview on Friday.
Pōwehi as a name is so powerful because it provides real truths about the image of the black hole that we see,” Dr. Dempsey shared in a video posted by the university. Professor Kimura, who has studied the chant for an extensive period of time, exclaimed that the naming “all just fell into place.” How They Took the First Picture of a Black Hole A planet-sized system of radio telescopes has brought together the very first image of a black hole. Professor Kimura stated that he considered the attention it was garnering as “a great happening for science and Hawaiian language and identity revitalization.” He articulated that it would aid encourage the conservation of indigenous language of Hawaii, which is currently facing extinction.
His participation originated on his use of a couple of the most powerful telescopes in the world which sits on top of Mauna Kea on Hawaii island — the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope and Submillimeter Array — which played an integral role in the Event Horizon Telescope project that caught the image of the black hole. Geoffrey C. Bower, chief scientist of the Hawai’i operations at the Academia Sinica Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, stated that the name was based partly from a proposal to obtain a news release regarding the black hole image in the Hawaiian language. As it turned out, Professor Kimura was just the man for the job, Dr. Bower said, further stating that it was proposed he could likewise arrive with a name for the black hole although everyone had no clue on what to expect.
Sync your calendar with the solar system Always be there once an eclipse, meteor shower, a rocket launch or any other kind of astronomical and space event occurs. “It was remarkable in the simplicity of the language and how it resonated in the astrophysical concept of what we saw,” he said. At present, pōwehi is recognized as the official Hawaiian name of the black hole. Gov. David Y. Ige of Hawaii made an announcement proclaiming April 10 as “Pōwehi Day.”
More official recognition for Pōwehi would need to come from the International Astronomical Union, Dr. Bower stated. It would only be submitted for approval by the union once a group of no less than 200 scientists and 13 funding institutions included in the project would agree to back it up, he said. Dr. Dempsey mentioned that Professor Kimura was instrumental in coming up with the Hawaiian name Oumuamua for an asteroid found in 2017.
NASA defined the asteroid, which was officially referred to as 1I/2017 U1, as “the first confirmed object from another star to visit our solar system” and an “interstellar interloper.” Professor Kimura exclaimed that the name Oumuamua was an ancient Hawaiian word which means “scout” or “being out there in the front.”