Black Hole Image

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"Something into which stuff goes and never returns."
Professor Avery Broderick - April 10, 2019

On April 10th, 2019, the University of Waterloo revealed the first image of a black hole. In what was the culmination of two decades of work by a global team, working in collaboration to interpret the images from Event Horizon Telescope (EHT). Professor Avery Broderick of the University of Waterloo and associate faculty member at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, said “This first image is beautiful and a profound moment in science – it’s the first time we’ve seen the unseeable.”[1]

In a short video released as part of a press release, Broderick described the black hole as "quite literally what you would think of when you hear the word[s] "black hole": the ultimate cosmic prison. "Something into which stuff goes and never returns."

  • Awesome McCoolname: the massive region of space was given the name: “Powehi,” a Hawaiian phrase that refers to an “embellished dark source of unending creation" by Larry Kimura, a Hawaiian language professor at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, who was asked to name it.[2]
  • Lord of the Rings: people immediately thought Powehi looks like Sauron, the Big Bad from the Tolkien's epic fantasy tale.
  • Why We Can't Have Nice Things: because of the internet, Powehi became an instant classic[3], inviting comparison with Brexit[4] The timing and location of the release of the image coincided with ongoing Brexit discussions, leading to comparisons with the "ultimate cosmic prison".[5]