telescopes of unusual size

September 06, 2005

i am doing astronomy in the final block of my science course. today, the course text pointed me to the website of the european southern observatory. apparently, they have a Very Large Telescope (VLT). another telescope they are thinking about is an Extremely Large Telescope (ELT). i did start to wonder whether there would be a BLT - Bloody Large Telescope - but no! the man in charge of acronyms at the observatory is way ahead of me.

apparently their next telescope (due for completion by 2020) is called an OWL. that would be ... OverWhelmingly Large telescope.

i laughed and laughed. i told mattgreen about it. he paused for a moment.

mattgreen: well, that's all very well, but what i'm really worried about is the MDT.
alicey: (starts giggling)
alicey: (starts thinking about what ridiculousness mattgreen has come up with, and laughs harder and harder until the tears roll down her cheeks and she can hardly speak)
mattgreen: (accusingly) you've guessed it, haven't you?

It's great isn't it! The problem is they're backing themselves into a bit of a corner really because they're eventually going to run out of adjectives.

So come on then, what did MDT stand for?
I have no idea either. But the man in charge of acronyms needs to be sacked, that's terrible. Someone could sneak in to the observatory compound and replace the telescope with something else that was Overwhelmingly Large, and the astronomers wouldn't be able to put their finger on what had gone wrong.
Have just discovered that MDT stands for Matt's Dick Telescope. ROFLcopter. If anyone ever finds this comment, email me at You'll make my day :D
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