Thursday, June 21, 2012

Obscenely Colossal Telescope Project Revealed


The existence of the Obscenely Colossal Telescope, formerly the Super Secret Obscenely Colossal Telescope, was exposed by Stephen Craft, contributor to Sky and Telescope online, in his NEWS by Stephen Craft post of 20 June 2012. The main thrust of his article was regarding the useful discoveries of smaller scopes for astronomers. In particular, the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope, KELT. Not to be confused with the CELT or EBSLT. He did in fact insert a disclaimer “one of these might be made up” when referring to the behemoths of telescopedom, i.e. the recently approved E-ELT, the VLT, and the Giant Magellan Telescope.
Whether this was an intentional leak or simply an attempt to puncture the extremely dense shroud of secrecy around the OCT, formerly the SSOCT, remains to be determined. This reporter had previously signed a non-disclosure agreement with backers of the OCT, formerly the SSOCT, and am now released from that contractual agreement to give you, the general reading audience the skinny, the real deal, the inside dope... Never mind.
Dr. M.A.C. DeRoyal, with too many initials tagged on his name, confided to this reporter over a few too many stouts the plans for said telescope in 1987. Over the intervening years, he has passed on snippets of information regarding the various trials, tribulations and milestones of the Committee to Build the OCT, formerly the Committee to Build the SSOCT, of which he was chair.
The brain child of Dr. R.E.M. Mills, University of Haltwhistle, was intended to put the university back on the map, as it were, of Big Astronomy. A chance meeting with DeRoyal at a local pub led to a sketch of said telescope envisioned by Mills, a table of organisation by DeRoyal, and a plan to get funding for the project. This was all recorded on a barmaid's apron, which they were able to keep after the row created over the procurement of said apron and a night in gaol.

We pause now, so as not to spill the entire contents of the can of beans. We hope you will return having been enticed by this teaser.

By Ferd Whittleton, Stupendously Colossal Agri-Media, 21 June 2012.