“Abyss,” “crush,” “haunting” and “chasm” got here up steadily. So did (much less grimly) “Hawking,” after the person who did a lot to grasp them, in addition to “riddle,” “mystery,” “mass” and “binge.” Other favorites: a “scream” of black holes, an “oblivion” and a “mosh pit.”
Some readers, enjoying on the concept 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 big in Greek mythology, whose physique was lined with eyes. A 3rd reached into Stephen King’s “Dark Tower” sequence 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 gaggle of black holes a “Trump” was advisable by 125 different readers. “Congress” acquired a number of votes. (Presumably cooler heads will prevail amongst astronomers, who rely on federal funds to construct their telescopes and conduct analysis.)
For what it’s value, there’s nothing official occurring right here. Nor will there be any prize for arising with the successful identify.
Raisa Stebbins, the 32-year-old daughter of one of many LISA scientists, Tuck Stebbins, raised the etymological problem initially, Dr. Holley-Bockelmann stated. “It was Raisa’s question that turned our Very Serious Meeting About LISA into a fun distraction,” she stated. Hundreds of concepts poured in from associates and the web.
In all, two dozen astronomers took half within the course of, Dr. Holley-Bockelmann stated. After a lot spirited dialogue introduced the listing all the way down to 16 sturdy contenders, the astronomers voted on them utilizing a proportional ranked-choice voting algorithm, RankIt.