What to Name a Bunch of Black Holes? You Had Some Ideas.


“Abyss,” “crush,” “haunting” and “chasm” got here up incessantly. So did (much less grimly) “Hawking,” after the person who did a lot to perceive them, in addition to “riddle,” “mystery,” “mass” and “binge.” Other favorites: a “scream” of black holes, an “oblivion” and a “mosh pit.”

Some readers, taking part in on the thought of a multiplicity of holes, proposed a “colander,” a “doily,” a “lace” and a “warren.” One, responding to Dr. Holley-Bockelmann’s giggle, nominated “loon.”

Another proposed Argus Panoptes, a primordial large in Greek mythology, whose physique was coated with eyes. A 3rd reached into Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” collection to counsel a “thinny,” a weak spot in actuality the place the material between worlds has grown skinny.

Inevitably, politics was on the minds of many. A suggestion to name a group of black holes a “Trump” was really helpful by 125 different readers. “Congress” obtained a number of votes. (Presumably cooler heads will prevail amongst astronomers, who rely upon federal funds to construct their telescopes and conduct analysis.)

For what it’s price, there’s nothing official occurring right here. Nor will there be any prize for developing with the profitable title.

Raisa Stebbins, the 32-year-old daughter of one of the LISA scientists, Tuck Stebbins, raised the etymological situation initially, Dr. Holley-Bockelmann mentioned. “It was Raisa’s question that turned our Very Serious Meeting About LISA into a fun distraction,” she mentioned. Hundreds of concepts poured in from mates and the web.

In all, two dozen astronomers took half within the course of, Dr. Holley-Bockelmann mentioned. After a lot spirited dialogue introduced the checklist down to 16 robust contenders, the astronomers voted on them utilizing a proportional ranked-choice voting algorithm, RankIt.



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