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Linkspam for 30-6-2010

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
nojay
Jun. 30th, 2010 02:00 am (UTC)
Nope, the thirty metres designation refers to the telescope mirror's diameter. It will be a multi-segment mirror as most super-sized scopes are today.
nmg
Jun. 30th, 2010 03:56 am (UTC)
Beat me to it...
purplecthulhu
Jun. 30th, 2010 06:59 am (UTC)
And me!
nmg
Jun. 30th, 2010 07:41 am (UTC)
So, as an astronomer, can you explain why ground-based astronomers have such a singular lack of imagination when it comes to naming telescopes? With the Very Large Array, the European Extremely Large Telescope and the Overwhelmingly Large Telescope, I can only assume that there's no small amount of demicturation involved.
purplecthulhu
Jun. 30th, 2010 08:20 am (UTC)
It may well be a reaction to the tendency of our space colleagues (of which, schizophrenically, I am one) to come up with stupidly contrived acronyms for their satellites, instruments and projects. For example, I work on SPIRE the Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver, and that's not one of the worst.

It also allows in jokes, such as the VSA - the Very Small Array - and how the MMT - multimirror Telescope - kept its name even when it was upgraded to a single mirror. It's now the Monolithic Mirror Telescope, but I preferred the other candidate name of the Minor Misnomer Telescope.
(Deleted comment)
nmg
Jun. 30th, 2010 01:41 pm (UTC)
As part of a (SETI-endorsed) SETI spoof that I did with some friends (back when I was a postgrad and had time), we constructed a fake radio telescope array on Southampton Common from coat hangers and bamboo canes. I was all for naming it the Quite Big Array, but I was overruled by the rest of totl.net on the grounds that it was too silly a name.
major_clanger
Jun. 30th, 2010 04:23 pm (UTC)
There is of course the Very Small Array.
major_clanger
Jun. 30th, 2010 04:19 pm (UTC)
I liked the suggestion that it should be deemed to be the Incorrectly Abbreviated Telescope, abbreviated (incorrectly) to MMT.

And I'm just waiting for someone to have the balls to name a telescope along the lines that SpaceX used when they named their static engine test facility the BFTS. It supposedly stands for 'Big Falcon Test Stand' - yes, Mr Musk, we're sure it does.
sashajwolf
Jun. 30th, 2010 12:48 pm (UTC)
That Supreme Court decision bothered me, too. It could seriously hamper the work of one of our pro bono clients.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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