1294: Telescope Names

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Telescope Names
The Thirty Meter Telescope will be renamed The Flesh-Searing Eye on the Volcano.
Title text: The Thirty Meter Telescope will be renamed The Flesh-Searing Eye on the Volcano.

[edit] Explanation

The Very Large Telescope is an existing telescope, while the (European) Extremely Large Telescope is in an advanced planning stage. The Overwhelmingly Large Telescope was another proposed telescope that, as the comic mentions, was cancelled. The comic pokes fun at the generic nature of the names of the telescopes by proposing more generic but increasingly ridiculous names for future telescopes.

The progression of ever larger telescope names also evokes the Isaac Asimov short story "The Last Question", in which a series of ever larger computers (with a similarly evocative series of ever grander names) is engineered in order to solve a hypothetical "final" question.

The title text talks about the Thirty Meter Telescope, which is about to begin construction on Mauna Kea (a dormant volcano) in Hawaiʻi, and seems to compare it to the Eye of Sauron. It is expected to be the most advanced and powerful optical telescope on Earth when completed.

[edit] Transcript

[A list of telescope names is given.]
The Very Large Telescope
The Extremely Large Telescope
The Overwhelmingly Large Telescope ☑ (Canceled)
The Oppressively Colossal Telescope
The Mind-numbingly Vast Telescope
The Despair Telescope
The Cataclysmic Telescope
The Telescope of Devastation
The Nightmare Scope
The Infinite Telescope
The Final Telescope
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Discussion

Historically, one of the first times the issue was raised on the internet was this Slashdot article, where the name BFT was first proposed in 2000. Did Randall know it? ‎108.162.231.211 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

The "Final Telescope" aka "James Webb Space Telescope". 108.162.222.209 11:01, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

How could he leave off the Giant Magellan Telescope? Matchups (talk) 14:13, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Does anyone think the latter names are a nod to Doctor Who? The Nightmare Child, the Plains of Devastation, etc. 199.27.128.148 17:48, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

The infinite is the size of the univers. Still there is a final after that ;-) Kynde (talk) 19:28, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Just a note concerning the cancelled 'Overwhelmingly Large Telescope' (=OWL): Today OWL means „Once Was Large“ because it is replaced by the ELT 108.162.231.21 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

Similar topic

I remember a short piece in SCIAM many years ago, where a well known physicist ironicly discussed the wish/planning/building of ever bigger colliders. Among the biggest of them, the "final collider" was described as having a diameter about the dimension of galaxy clusters. 108.162.231.54 22:28, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

The "Infinite" and "Final Telescopes" may be a poke at the Infinite Crisis and Final Crisis crossover events in the DC Comics... --Koveras (talk) 10:43, 9 December 2013 (UTC)


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