Black hole named ‘Powehi’ by Hawaii university professor

This April 4, 2019, photo, provided by Maunakea Observatories shows the Submillimeter Array, part of the Event Horizon Telescope network on the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Scientists on Wednesday, April 10, revealed the first image ever made of a black hole using these telescopes. (Maunakea Observatories via AP)
Updated 12 April 2019
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Black hole named ‘Powehi’ by Hawaii university professor

  • Powehi, which means “the adorned fathomless dark creation”, comes from the Kumulipo, an 18th century Hawaiian creation chant
  • A Hawaiian name was justified because the project included two Hawaii telescopes, astronomers said

HILO, Hawaii: A language professor has given a Hawaiian name — Powehi — to the black hole depicted in an image produced in a landmark experiment.
University of Hawaii-Hilo Hawaiian Professor Larry Kimura named the cosmic object, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday.
The world’s first image of a black hole revealed Wednesday was created using data from eight radio telescopes around the world.
Powehi, which means “the adorned fathomless dark creation” or “embellished dark source of unending creation”, comes from the Kumulipo, an 18th century Hawaiian creation chant. Po is a profound dark source of unending creation, while wehi, honored with embellishments, is one of the chant’s descriptions of po, the newspaper reported.
“To have the privilege of giving a Hawaiian name to the very first scientific confirmation of a black hole is very meaningful to me and my Hawaiian lineage that comes from po,” Kimura said in a news release.
A Hawaiian name was justified because the project included two Hawaii telescopes, astronomers said.
“As soon as he said it, I nearly fell off my chair,” said Jessica Dempsey, deputy director of the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope on Mauna Kea.
Dempsey was among 200 scientists who worked to capture an image of the massive black hole in the M87 galaxy nearly 54 million light-years from Earth, the newspaper reported.
Dempsey said Powehi is an excellent match for the scientific explanation provided to Kimura.
“We described what we had seen and that this black hole was illuminating and brightening the darkness around it, and that’s when he came up with the name,” she said.


What happened to the Apollo goodwill moon rocks?

Updated 16 June 2019
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What happened to the Apollo goodwill moon rocks?

  • Some of the gifts have either gone missing, were stolen or destroyed over the decades

HOUSTON, Texas: US President Richard Nixon gave moon rocks collected by Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 astronauts to 135 countries around the world and the 50 US states as a token of American goodwill.
While some hold pride of place in museums and scientific institutions, many others are unaccounted for — they have either gone missing, were stolen or even destroyed over the decades.
The list below recounts the stories of some of the missing moon rocks and others that were lost and later found.
It is compiled from research done by Joseph Gutheinz Jr, a retired NASA special agent known as the “Moon Rock Hunter,” his students, and collectSPACE, a website which specializes in space history.

• Both the Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 moon rocks presented to perpetually war-wracked Afghanistan have vanished.

• One of the moon rocks destined for Cyprus was never delivered due to the July 1974 Turkish invasion of the island and the assassination of the US ambassador the following month.
It was given to NASA years later by the son of a US diplomat but has not been handed over to Cyprus.

Joseph Gutheinz, an attorney known as the "Moon Rock Hunter," displays meteorite fragments in his office on May 22, 2019 in Friendswood, Texas. (AFP / Loren Elliot)



• Honduras’s Apollo 17 moon rock was recovered by Gutheinz and Bob Cregger, a US Postal Service agent, in a 1998 undercover sting operation baptized “Operation Lunar Eclipse.”
It had been sold to a Florida businessman, Alan Rosen, for $50,000 by a Honduran army colonel. Rosen tried to sell the rock to Gutheinz for $5 million. It was seized and eventually returned to Honduras.

• Ireland’s Apollo 11 moon rock was on display in Dublin’s Dunsink Observatory, which was destroyed in a 1977 fire. Debris from the observatory — including the moon rock — ended up in the Finglas landfill.

• The Apollo 11 and Apollo 17 moon rocks given to then Libyan leader Col. Muammar Qaddafi have vanished.

• Malta’s Apollo 17 moon rock was stolen from a museum in May 2004. It has not been found.

• Nicaragua’s Apollo 17 moon rock was allegedly sold to someone in the Middle East for $5-10 million. Its Apollo 11 moon rock ended up with a Las Vegas casino owner, who displayed it for a time in his Moon Rock Cafe. Bob Stupak’s estate turned it over to NASA when he died. It has since been returned to Nicaragua.

• Romania’s Apollo 11 moon rock is on display in a museum in Bucharest. Romania’s Apollo 17 moon rock is believed to have been sold by the estate of former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who was executed along with his wife, Elena, on Christmas Day 1989.


Spain’s Apollo 17 moon rock is on display in Madrid’s Naval Museum after being donated by the family of Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, who was assassinated by the Basque separatist group ETA in 1973.
Spain’s Apollo 11 moon rock is missing and is believed to be in the hands of the family of former dictator Francisco Franco.
cl/sst