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Renaming the Very Large Array

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the how-about-the-really-big-array dept.

Science 176

New submitter mercurywoodrose writes "To commemorate a decade-long electronics upgrade, the Very Large Array in New Mexico is up for renaming. Submissions may be made at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory's website until December 1."

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BART (5, Funny)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37728870)

Big Ass Radio Telescope ?

Re:BART (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37728912)

How about Big Fucking Nigger Dick In Your Butthole. BFNDIYB (pronounced Bu-Fu-Ni-Dyu-Bu). Rolls off the tongue nicely.

Re:BART (1)

ynp7 (1786468) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729072)

How about "The Still Very Large Array"?

Re:BART (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729244)

The Once Largest Array

Re:BART (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729902)

Large Array of Radio Dishes All Searching the Sky. LARDASS for short.

Re:BART (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37730002)

Or simply: Large Array of Radio Telescopes. :-)

Re:BART (1)

WillDraven (760005) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729594)

Very Large Array of Dishes Teleoperated Happily Expecting Important Measurements Predicting Alien Language Expressive Radios

Re:BART (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729094)

Center for the Observation of Celestial Kinematics, which will soon become obsolete when they build the Colossal Underground Neutrino Telescope.

BFA 9000 (4, Funny)

Jonah Hex (651948) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729194)

Modify it a bit to BFA 9000

Special High Intensity Telescope (2)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729410)

Call it SHIT if you want, just don't cut the fucking budget!

Re:Special High Intensity Telescope (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729874)

Call it SHIT if you want, just don't cut the fucking budget!

They have a separate budget for fucking? :-)

Re:BART (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729928)

Skynet 0.2beta ?

use different datastructure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37728872)

Hash,Skiplist, Patricia, trie?

VVLA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37728876)

Very Very Large Array?

How about Sagan (5, Insightful)

rossdee (243626) | more than 2 years ago | (#37728880)

In Honor of Carl Sagan, the writer of Contact , and a populiser of astronomy

Re:How about Sagan (5, Funny)

curio_city (1972556) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729032)

Super Awesome Group of ANtennae?

Re:How about Sagan (2)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729102)

They should just do like most Universities do with their buildings, have a reverse auction and rename the array, every couple of years.

Re:How about Sagan (2, Interesting)

John Bresnahan (638668) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729342)

Careful there. If the Sagan estate is still as litigious as Sagan used to be, the VLA might end up with the name "Butt-Head Astronomer Telescope". Wikipedia.org [wikipedia.org]

Re:How about Sagan (1)

zephvark (1812804) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729346)

Butthead Astronomer Telescope. I like it. BAT it is.

Re:How about Sagan (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729496)

So he sued some festering boil of a corporation because they first took his name without permission to refer to an out-of-context misquotation in connection with their bottom-line, and then insulted him when he complained? Good for him.

When Sagan died of cancer, I was actually sad. He was a good man and a benefit to humanity.

Nah... Butthole Astronomer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37730254)

That way we get two dead folks for the price of one.

Most comments will be- (4, Interesting)

Zaldarr (2469168) | more than 2 years ago | (#37728894)

The Array

Re:Most comments will be- (1)

Zaldarr (2469168) | more than 2 years ago | (#37728900)

Silly less than and greater than signs messing with my gag! The *synonym of large* Array

Re:Most comments will be- (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37728960)

Well, less than and greater than signs are done with < (&lt) and > (>).

Re:Most comments will be- (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37728962)

Oh, and don't forget to proofread! :-)

Re:Most comments will be- (0)

ynp7 (1786468) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729078)

Real Men(tm) proofread right after they comment their code.

Re:Most comments will be- (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729310)

Sooo... you are saying I'm not a real man? *prepares roundhouse kick*

Chuck N.

FVLA? (2)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37728896)

Formerly Very Large Array?

Re:FVLA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37728922)

The telescope array formerly known as the Very Large Array. TTAFKATVLA. Excuse me while I update Wikipedia.

Re:FVLA? (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#37728974)

Ta Ta Away From Keyboard At The Very Large Array.

Yup, that ought to motivate the local Congressman to fund the project!

Re:FVLA? (1)

M8e (1008767) | more than 2 years ago | (#37728926)

The Array Formerly Known as the Very Large Array.

Re:FVLA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729006)

TAFKATVLA? ..In fact, that doesn't seem unreasonable.

Re:FVLA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729582)

Probably The Array Formerly Known as Very Large

The array formerly known as (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37728906)

Draw lines between the dishes on an aerial photo of the array, make a nice vector logo, and make the logo its name and refer to it as the Array Formerly Known as the Very Large Array.

Re:The array formerly known as (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729600)

Plow lines between the dishes on the array, make a nice vector logo, and make the logo its name and refer to it as the Array Formerly Known as the Very Large Array.

Sagan Nazca Array?

Re:The array formerly known as (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37730028)

The array formerly known as

Primordial Reconstructive Interstellar Neo-Constructive.... you come up with the special "E" at the end.

I propose... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37728910)

int *A = malloc(SIZE_MAX);

1 question (1)

aglider (2435074) | more than 2 years ago | (#37728918)

Why on earth? And also in the universe?

Re:1 question (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37728978)

Why on earth? And also in the universe?

While that's certainly an interesting name, I don't think it would be very good marketing. :-)
(BTW those are two questions!)

Charity (4, Insightful)

sirdude (578412) | more than 2 years ago | (#37728924)

Why not auction the name and donate the proceeds to a scientific charity? I suspect that big money can be made ...

Re:Charity (2)

dkf (304284) | more than 2 years ago | (#37728944)

I suspect that big money can be made ...

Only if you get the scaling factor on your printing press wrong!

Re:Charity (1)

Quatloo (805125) | more than 2 years ago | (#37730062)

I was thinking along the same lines. What is wrong with "The MetLife VLA" or "The Microsoft VLA" ? It is worth more than first blush when you consider that the name will be registered and trademarked so that news stories and other publications need to reference the whole name.

SCAT (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37728928)

Super
Colossal
Alien
Tracker

The COLBERT array. (2)

faulteh (1869228) | more than 2 years ago | (#37728930)

OK I haven't thought of what the acronym means yet but you can bet that the Colbert Nation is hard at work submitting recommendations.

Completely "Oldstuff Left Behind" Enhanced Radio Telescope

Re:The COLBERT array. (1)

w00d (91529) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729056)

Colossally Oversized, Ludicrously Big Effin' Radio Telescope.

Re:The COLBERT array. (5, Funny)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729200)

How about "Configurable Observatory of Large Baseline Enhanced Radio Telescopes"

Re:The COLBERT array. (1)

Alamais (4180) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729568)

You, good sir, win. Seriously, submit this to someone.

Re:The COLBERT array. (1)

grumling (94709) | more than 2 years ago | (#37730292)

Make that the "Stephen Colbert Doritos Fiery Fusion Sizzlin' Cayenne & Cheese washed down with a Dr. Pepper" large array and I'll vote for it.

What about ... (1, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37728946)

VLA 2.0? :-)

VLAWNB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37728952)

VLAWNB - Very Large Array With New Bits

Seems the time to rename it would be once there are tons of even larger arrays, then it's the Pretty Middling Sized Array

Re:VLAWNB (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729446)

The PMS Array?

Obviously. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37728966)

Dis Array.

Or just simply... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37728968)

Very, Very Large Array?

Hmm (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#37728988)

The Array Formerly Known as Very Large Array

Legendarray (see what I did there?)

Re:Hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729092)

The Smaller Than Medium Array but Larger than Wee Array Array.

Homage to Fermi (2)

djl4570 (801529) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729012)

"Where are they?"

Re:Homage to Fermi (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729382)

"Where are they?"

Get out now - the signal's coming from your own planet!

Tip a hat to Slashdot (3, Funny)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729018)

IABCOD "Imagine a Beowulf cluster of dishes!"

Old (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729178)

Have you noticed how slashdot hasn't produced any new memes in a decade?
It's dying.

Re:Old (0)

wootest (694923) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729602)

In Korea, only old people die! No, wait...

Re:Tip a hat to Slashdot (1)

Phase Shifter (70817) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729742)

IABCOD "Imagine a Beowulf cluster of dishes!"

Might as well get a few more of them out there:

The BIG (Beaming Intergalactic Goatse) Array

27 Dishes of Hot Grits

I know! (3, Funny)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729024)

How about "Paul"?

Re:I know! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729580)

Now I have to submit "RON PAUL". You've just given this idea to about 5000 folks that spend all their time voting in internet polls. My kudos.

Some perspective is in order. (2)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729034)

Because all these constructions with their superlative names are always eventually surpassed by something else, I propose that we name this the "Pretty Big Array".

Re:Some perspective is in order. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729048)

"Pretty Big Array At The Time"

Re:Some perspective is in order. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729088)

Because all these constructions with their superlative names are always eventually surpassed by something else, I propose that we name this the "Pretty Big Array".

If that naming convention is going to be continued, each generation should at least sound bigger than the previous. To my ear, "Pretty Big Array" does not sound quite as big as "Very Large Array" (I'm not a native english speaker so I could be wrong). Anyway, its probably better to ditch this naming convention as you will end up in stupid names in relatively short time. For example, in few generations you could end up with something like "Ridiculously Oversized Array"

Re:Some perspective is in order. (3, Funny)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729106)

If that naming convention is going to be continued, each generation should at least sound bigger than the previous. To my ear, "Pretty Big Array" does not sound quite as big as "Very Large Array" (I'm not a native english speaker so I could be wrong). Anyway, its probably better to ditch this naming convention as you will end up in stupid names in relatively short time. For example, in few generations you could end up with something like "Ridiculously Oversized Array"

But that was my whole point. We should start back a ways. Otherwise, we'll end up having "The Very Very Large Array", "The Even Larger Array", "Yet Another Extremely Sizable Array", and "Jesus Christ! Would You Look At That Array!"

I think if we back up a bit, and start small, it will give us more room to grow.

Re:Some perspective is in order. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729134)

I hope you're submitting all those as suggestions

Re:Some perspective is in order. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729142)

Or just pick up a random name that sounds fun at the time

"Disc Array for Total and Absolute Space Survey" = DATASS

Or perhaps don't change the name. It might only cause unnecessary confusion..

Re:Some perspective is in order. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729468)

But that was my whole point. We should start back a ways. Otherwise, we'll end up having "The Very Very Large Array", "The Even Larger Array", "Yet Another Extremely Sizable Array", and "Jesus Christ! Would You Look At That Array!"

And of course the "Your momma so fat..." array.

Re:Some perspective is in order. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729968)

I think the current record in size naming is Overwhelmingly Large. [wikimedia.org] However that's for optical telescopes.

How bout what it really is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729042)

Future budget cut.

Too easy. (1)

SolemnLord (775377) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729044)

Very Large Upgraded Array.

Do new names really stick? (4, Insightful)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729074)

Astronomer 1: did you see what "insert new name here" found?
Astronomer 2: "new name"??
Astronomer 1: The Very Large Array..
Astronomer 2: Oh yeah, they changed the name. Go on.

Old names have a tendency to stick around in proportion to how long they were used. Since the Very Large Array has been around for a while the name will probably be around for a while more.

Another issue is that researchers could be confused when the same piece of scientific gear is referred to by more than one name. It would be easy to miss the fact that the Very Large Array and "insert new name here" are actually the same piece of equipment.

Re:Do new names really stick? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729108)

Another issue is that researchers could be confused when the same piece of scientific gear is referred to by more than one name. It would be easy to miss the fact that the Very Large Array and "insert new name here" are actually the same piece of equipment.

That's just it. The upgrades are significant enough to warrant a new name.

Re:Do new names really stick? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729294)

Speaking as an astronomer (who hasn't used the VLA yet, but is likely to do so in the next couple of years), you're completely right.

Re:Do new names really stick? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729434)

I did not realize the naming contest was already over... BTW, does the name include the quotes or is that just something you added?

Linked List (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729138)

Linked List

what about (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729292)

niggerkiller? Its elegant, and most importantly, racist.

If size is so important... (3, Funny)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729368)

If this size-based naming goes much further we're going to end up with telescopes with names like The Bigger Than The Very Large Array But Not As Big As The Extremely Large Array Array...

Or they could just admit to their resolution envy and call it the Particularly Enormous Network of Interferometric Sensors.

It's not my fault! (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729390)

The "Big-Boned" Array.

or

The "Husky" Array

or

The "Once You Go Very Large Array, You Never Go Back" Array

or

Array con Pollo (wait, never mind about this one, I'm just hungry.)

or

Uncle Bob

stolen from fark.com... (1)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729436)

IMO the best new name for the array is Leon [youtube.com] .

People (3, Insightful)

hackertourist (2202674) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729490)

How about naming it after one of the pioneers of radio astronomy?
- Karl Jansky, first to realize that there were radio waves coming from space
- Grote Reber, first to build a radio telescope
- Sir Martin Ryle, who came up with radio interferometry (although he's already had a radio telescope named after him)

Re:People (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729934)

And where exactly is the Sir telescope?

Big Brother (1)

deniable (76198) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729540)

It's got a long reach.

The Doritos Very Large Array (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729572)

Isn't is obvious? Why give it a noble name when you can sell it.

Slatibarfast (1)

sproketboy (608031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729586)

Obviously.

Keep it simple, stupid! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729660)

Big array. I can't believe I was the first one to approach this one like an engineer.

We all know how this will end up... (1)

anon mouse-cow-aard (443646) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729670)

It's and online poll, If they are honest, it'll be the Colbert Big Ensemble for Astronomy in the Radio Spectrum. http://www.cio.com/article/489397/Will_NASA_Name_Space_Station_After_Comedian_Colbert_ [cio.com] (Colbert has an issue with BEARS. I think his main motivation would be to detect any extraplanetary bears way ahead of time.) http://wikiality.wikia.com/Bears [wikia.com]

rdg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729798)

Jodie's Ears?

Perhaps something a little more descriptive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37729824)

How about the "San Agustin 27-VLA Observatory"? It says where it is, and how many elements it has. If another very large array is built sometime, it can be unambigiously named the same way without any confusion possible as to which array you are referring. Further, if there is only one Very Large Array right now, backporting the name as needed becomes simple. And, yes, the number may be unnecessary, but I like it because it is descriptive. If you like, you can replace the array count with the effective surface area of the combined receivers. If you do that, you may want to consider adding the effective receiver service area to the name Arecibo Observatory, as in "Arecibo 480 Observatory" (I think I got the math right). But in any case, radio astronomers use location names for their tools, why not continue that tradition? (And, yes, I've submitted the name in the first sentence -- this contribution amplifies on why I propose it.)

GINVLA (1)

estestvoispytatel (1091583) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729860)

= Ginvla Is Not Very Large Array.

Re:GINVLA (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37730064)

GINGAVITIS?

Gigantic Interstellar, New Ginormous Asynchronous, Very Integral Telescope Is Sequential...?

Here it is, guys (1)

broginator (1955750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729890)

The Very, Very, OMG You Guys, It's Like, So Gigantic, You Have No Idea, It's Just So Huge Array.

How about... (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 2 years ago | (#37729994)

the "My God It's Huge Array"?

Stephen Colbert Very Large Array (1)

jufineath (624014) | more than 2 years ago | (#37730020)

Its about time for another rush by Colbert Nation!

The Ritchie Array... (2)

SwedishChef (69313) | more than 2 years ago | (#37730202)

Something should be named after Dennis Ritchie.

WAPIMA(TM) (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 2 years ago | (#37730206)

WAPIMA(TM)

What A Pain In My Ass (To Maintain)

Corporate sponsor (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37730368)

Can't name it until a corporate sponsor purchases the naming rights.

Roddenberry (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37730392)

I just submitted the name "Gene Roddenberry Array"... appreciate it if anyone else would as well.

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