A. The scientific method requires confirmation by others. Who will confirm this claim?
B. Scientists tell their peers of achievements in journals and at conferences. Give some thought to reasons why these people are using popular media.
Of all the things to get annoyed at Tom. I must have missed something because I didn't read anywhere that the scientist's are claiming absolute proof that they have found a black hole only that its a good hypothesis
Stephen, I know you better than that. Don't pull that on me.
Black hole picture?
WASHINGTON (AP) — The newly pictured supermassive black hole is a beast with no name, at least not an official one. And what happens next could be cosmically confusing.
The team of astronomers who created the image of the black hole called it M87(asterisk). (The asterisk is silent.) A language professor has given it a name from a Hawaiian chant — Powehi — meaning "the adorned fathomless dark creation." And the international group in charge of handing out astronomical names? It has never named a black hole.
The black hole in question is about 53 million light years away in the center of a galaxy called Messier 87, or M87 for short. On Wednesday, scientists revealed a picture they took of it using eight radio telescopes, the first time humans had actually seen one of the dense celestial objects that suck up everything around them, even light.
The International Astronomical Union usually takes care of names, but only for stuff inside our solar system and stars outside it. It doesn't have a committee set up to handle other objects, like black holes, galaxies or nebulas.
The last time there was a similar situation, poor Pluto somehow got demoted to a dwarf planet, leading to public outcry, said Williams College astronomer Jay Pasachoff, a star-naming committee member.
Technically, our own galaxy — the Milky Way — has never been officially named by the IAU, said Rick Fienberg, an astronomer and press officer for the American Astronomical Society. He said, "that's just a term that came down through history."
"Virtually every object in the sky has more than one designation," Fienberg said. "The constellations have their official IAU sanctioned names but in other cultures, they have other names."
THE GIFT OF A NAME
When it comes to the black hole we saw this week , University of Hawaii-Hilo Hawaiian professor Larry Kimura stepped up even before the photo was unveiled.
Powehi (pronounced poh-veh-hee) is the black hole's Hawaiian name, not its official name, explained Jessica Dempsey, who helped capture the black hole image as deputy director of the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii's tallest mountain. Hawaii Gov. David Ige proclaimed April 10 as Powehi day, she said.
"This isn't astronomers naming this," she said. "This is coming from a cultural expert and language expert. This is him coming to the table and giving us a gift of this name. It's a gift from Hawaiian culture and history, not the other way around."
When asked about Kimura's idea, IAU naming committee member Pasachoff said: "That's the first I heard of it."
Eric Mamajek, chairman of the IAU working group on star names, called it a "wonderful, thoughtful name."
THE PLUTO SITUATION
But Mamajek said his committee may not be the right one to grant the black hole a name. It only does stars.
"This is exactly the Pluto situation," Pasachoff said.
In 2006, astronomers at the IAU were discussing naming a large object in our solar system that eventually got called Eris. It wasn't considered a planet, so it wasn't the job of the planet committee. But some experts pointed out that it was bigger than Pluto, which added some confusion.
The conference decided to reclassify planets, kicked Pluto out of the club of regular planets and made it join the newly established dwarf planets category with Eris, Pasachoff said.
MORE NAMES COMING
The same day the photograph of the black hole was unveiled, the IAU asked the public to choose between three names for an object astronomers call 2007 OR10. It's an icy planetesimal that circles the sun but gets 100 times further from our star than Earth does.
The three proposed names are Gonggong, a Chinese water god with red hair and a serpent tail; Holle, a European winter goddess of fertility; and Vili, a Nordic deity and brother of Odin.
The IAU is trying to bring in more languages and cultures into the naming game, Pasachoff and Fienberg said. And soon the IAU will ask the public to help name 100 planets outside our solar system.
As astronomers gaze further into the cosmos, Pasachoff said, "we will need more names."
AP writer Jennifer Kelleher contributed from Honolulu. Follow Seth Borenstein on Twitter at @borenbears .
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
The image may be meaniningless but does that doesn't mean that there are are aren't gravity wells?
Chris, what is your evidence for the existence of gravity wells?
The astrilogical measurements that were done as informed in the following link is a clue for gravity wells.
Information such as the super massive black hole image should be distributed to the general public.
Perhaps the main problem is it's distributed in the same tone withing the same media conglomerates that tout Kardashians breast, or buttock enlargment surgery.
Chris, if you believe Ethan Siegal you will believe Donald Trump.
Not familiar with Ethan Siegal - Looking it up I see he's a science fiction writer.
At first meantion I thought he might have been (the plumber) Leonard Susskind. Perhaps I mistakenly linked the two names together because they are both from the Bronx.
In sarcasm I don't believe in Donald Trump. Is he a real person or a figment of some unhinged political faction?
I'm not a banger.
As a joke about The Don and Black Holes - this is going to be kind of disgusting.
I heard Don liked his holes bleached.
I shouldn't write these terrable 'jokes" as Fundimentalemest Ilamisist are suiciding themselves.
I don't care if they kill themselves - just don' hurt others in their stupid belief system.
Do you think if it weren't for oil and the hugging and kissing the U.S.A has for the the Prince of the KSA it wound be such a big deal?
Disney seems wo worship it.
As a side note why is the US,England and Scandanivaing countr4ries in a Suni Shia war Arabian/Iran war?
It seems the best thing we as a specie could do is divide ourselves from oil conflcts.
Doesn't seem that difficult does it?
Perghaps we need to understand electricity and batteries better.
Pump stations resivoirs, and mines may work to keep the power on.
I read an interesting article about pumping air into salt mines as a backup generator.
There was a time and phylosophy where and when broadcast be it Radio, TV, or Internet was thought to be for educational and information rather than commercial and entertainment porposes.
Apparently the idea that some of these institutions would be used for the beterment and knowledge of society is a fanticy - perhaps even Universities as much as many market their sports teams - even worse cheer leaders for entertainment. (Obvious sarcasm and disgust). Fortunately there are still public libraries.