Name A Very Large Radio Telescope Array

Do you remember the radio telescopes in the Film Contact where Jodie Foster and her team of geeks received the first haunting signal from alien intelligence? That was actually the Very Large Array run by the NRAO in Mew mexico and it has just finished a big upgrade to its electronic systems. They think that VLA is not a sufficiently imaginative and so they want to rename it but they also want the public to come up with the new name. You can very quickly and easily make a suggestion or several suggestions here.

I have already suggested “Carl Sagan Radio Observatory” and I am sure I will not be the only one using that theme. The BBC has gone for “Unfeasibly Large Telescopes”. There must be some more sophisticated ideas out there, so submit them and let us know.


15 Responses to Name A Very Large Radio Telescope Array

  1. FOCAL is the most ambitious mission. Send a telescope, for any bandwidth, beyond 500UA to use the Sun as a huge lens. The magnification is enough to see details of a city street tens of light years away from Earth.

  2. This is a very neat post! I have no problem with the VLA for I recall before it was built some spoke of the concept fondly and it stuck.

    How about “Are You Talking to Me?” because Jody Foster is rather extraordinay evidence :-)

    The PeSla

  3. Flash Games says:

    Jody Foster was playing a wonderful character in that movie :)
    “Are You Talking to Me?” suggested by L. Edgar Otto is nice one too.

  4. i also voted Carl Sagan Radio Observatory

  5. Mike says:


    Thank You for bringing up subjects like this! I studied astrophysics in college and its refreshing to talk about the usefulness of the VLA for a change (discussing the Higgs is great but getting a little old and subjects like this are a nice change). As a side note, if you visit the VLA they have a nice little tour (with a picture of Jody Foster in the control room – or at least they did 10 years ago).

  6. alain connes says:

    what about “fly eye”

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      It’s another nice idea but perhaps there would be some confusion with the fly’s eye cosmic ray detector.

      • alain connes says:

        Thanks, I did not know there was already a “fly’s eye cosmic ray detector”,
        so indeed it does not work.

  7. Graham Dungworth says:

    “Mew Mexico” indeed!
    Name it after the sky god of the indigenous folk
    Quetzalcoatl Array

    • Kea says:

      Yes, indeed, but scientists need to turn it into an acronym! Hmmm, maybe: Quetzacoatl = Questing Upwards Even To Zoroaster’s Avery Lim Open Antennae Astronomical Telescope Line?

  8. nokrong says:

    Thanks for the great article.I will visit your blog again, I really like it.

  9. chris says:

    Alien HotSpot?

  10. Alex says:

    Isn’t it obvious?

    Collecting Ominous Noisy Transmissions from Astrophysical and Cosmological Targets


    details may vary


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