Looking forward to seeing stuff from the [PLACEHOLDER] Space Telescope today

This afternoon (2pm PT, 5pm ET) NASA will reveal the first images from their new space telescope. You can see them on their live stream (this is a continuous stream, and you could start watching right now for six hours before you’ll see the expected stunning images).

Now I don’t know what to call the Giant Space Widget. It’s been officially named after an administrator and homophobe, rather than a scientist, and I’d rather not use that name at all. To see why, maybe you could fill some of the time you’re waiting by watching this video:

I’m looking forward to the images, but I’m going to have to refer to it as the [PLACEHOLDER] Space Telescope, unless someone has a better name. Why is it named after a homophobic bureaucrat anyway?


  1. raven says

    Webb will be a 6.5m telescope sensitive from gold-colored visible light to the mid-infrared, at wavelengths ranging from 0.6 micrometers to 28.5 micrometers.

    FAQ Lite Webb Telescope/NASA https://webb.nasa.gov › content › about › faqs › faqLite

    The Placeholder telescope is designed to mostly collect infrared radiation.
    It does also see visible light. (I didn’t know gold was a color on the spectrum. Did it take over from yellow or orange?)

    So you could refer to it as the Infrared Space telescope. That isn’t its name but everyone will know what you mean.

  2. StevoR says

    Is just using the initials JWST enough? There are plenty of other suggestions on this previous thread here :


    From that I like Intarnsitive’s suggestion (#32) of the Dr. Frank Kameny Space Telescope and (#26) feralboy12 ‘s one of the Annie Jump Cannon Space telescope or my own one base don VLT (Very large Telescope) lines of the Whopping Hexagonal Large Astronomical metaphorically Eagle-eyed space telescope (WHALE) whichis only abitless contrived than some names NASA’s already used.

  3. raven says

    You could also just refer to it as the REDACTED Space Telescope.
    Everyone will know what you mean and why.

  4. says

    Follow the example of the “Washington Football Team” (before they became the Commies) and call it the Lagrange Point Telescope.

  5. birgerjohansson says

    Overwhelmingly large telescope
    A proposal for an Earth-based 20m telescope.

  6. birgerjohansson says

    Images… bring me exoplanets or bring me DEATH
    (De Enormous Astronomical Telescope Hub.)

  7. Ed Seedhouse says

    @11 “Follow the example of the “Washington Football Team” (before they became the Commies) and call it the Lagrange Point Telescope”

    Which telescope in which Lagrange point ? There are several telescopes currently in various Lagrange points. The JWST is merely the current largest one, until, I suppose, China decides to best it.

  8. Ed Seedhouse says

    @7: “Overwhelmingly large telescope
    A proposal for an Earth-based 20m telescope.”

    The proposed European Extremely Large Telescope, is planned to have a 42 meter primary mirror.

  9. AussieMike says

    The mirrors are like honeycomb so maybe something attuned to your spider (insect) crawly thing senses like the Bee Scope or AnthophilaScope.

  10. brightmoon says

    OT post condemned murderer wants to donate kidney to atone for the murder but the state won’t let him because it’ll delay his execution. He’s not asking for the execution to be stopped . Like what’s the problem? It’s will only delay him for about a month if they’re so determined to kill him. He also has a rare blood type so those kidneys are needed desperately .

    On topic , I feel the same way about confederate statues . There are better people who deserve the accolades.

  11. Pierce R. Butler says

    Would our esteemed host find it acceptable to use a partial re-name? I suggest the Space-Probing Instrument Descrying Extraterrestrial Realities [SPIDER] Webb telescope…

  12. snarkrates says

    Back before it got it’s official name, we just called it the “Next Generation Space Telescope,” or NGST. That’s what the folder pertaining to it on my laptop is still labeled.

  13. submoron says

    I know that I wanted to be silenced, but :Vera Rubin? Caroline Herschel or Henrietta Swan Leavitt ? My choice, which won’t be popular, is Jocelyn Bell Burnel. She’s living for one thing and a white Brit. .Can anyone suggest a non-male non European? I suspect that you’d find some support for Omar Khayyam (male) but I’m too ignorant to know enough.
    Please, someone get the administrator to close my a/c

  14. cartomancer says

    My vote would be Agalonike, after the (possibly fictional) Thessalian astronomer / sorceress of ancient Greek tradition.

    Or how about going full anti-bigot and calling it the Great Big Sparkly Communist Space Penis? That would also have the advantage that people would stop using the soubriquet for me…

  15. birgerjohansson says

    Goddamit, coming up with good abbreviations is hard.
    “Humungous” for H.
    “Roundworld” for R ( as distinct from “discworld”)
    I suppose you could try “Palantir” for P.
    The things far back are long dead, so you could use “necroscope” for N.

  16. DanDare says

    Knowledge Rendering Amplification Peripheral.
    Or, name it after a female or trans working space scientist.