Chris Cornell tribute concert
[Photo by: Whitney Newell]

Just a few days ago we were blessed with recorded picture proof that space is just as emo as we are. The first recorded image of a black hole surfaced on April 10, sending the internet into a frenzy over the photo. Now, fans have created a petition asking that the supermassive black hole be named after Chris Cornell.

Alexa, play “Black Hole Sun.”

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The National Science Foundation and Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration shared the image, using radio dishes laid out across five continents to create one massive Earth-size telescope to snag the incredible image.

The black hole is located at the center of the galaxy Messier 87, which is roughly 55 million light-years away from Earth.

It is also estimated to be 6.5 billion times more massive than the sun.


Now, the first photographed black hole has a nickname that matches its emo-vibes perfectly.

Hawaiian language professor Larry Kimura has dubbed the black hole “Pōwehi” meaning “embellished dark source of unending creation.” However, giving the emo part of space an official name could take quite a bit of time.

In an attempt to influence the official name, an online petition has been created to name the black hole after Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell.

Giuliana Jarrin started the petition stating, “Almost two years ago, we lost Chris Cornell. He was the lead singer for Soundgarden and Audioslave, and above all, the voice of an entire generation. He was one of the most beloved figures not just in rock, but all of music, by people from all over the world.”

‘Black Hole Sun’, written by Chris Cornell is without a doubt Soundgarden’s most recognizable and most popular song, and one of the biggest anthems of the 90’s. For this reason, and the impact Chris Cornell had in the lives of so many and music itself, I ask NASA, the Event Horizon Telescope Collaboration and all the astronomers and scientists involved in this discovery, to name this black hole after Chris Cornell. This would be a ‘surreal’ and amazing way to honor his life and his contribution to music.”

According to NewScientist, the official naming of objects within the universe falls on the International Astronomical Union, who has been naming objects in space since 1919.

“Objects are split into different categories such as surface features of objects in the solar system, or stars,” says the IAU’s Lars Christensen. “Typically discoverers of objects propose a name to a working group, who then vets the name and checks for various issues like duplication or political meaning.”

He adds, “For the case of M87, which is the designation of this black hole, a (very nice) name has been proposed, but it has not received an official IAU approval.”

So, there’s still hope?

“There is so far no working group who has been delegated with [the] naming of such objects, as this is the first in its class,” he says. “Typically these things take quite a while.”

If you’d like to sign the petition to name the black hole after Cornell, you can add your name to the list here.

Would you like to see the black hole be named after Cornell? Sound off in the comments below!

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