A new instrument with an evil-sounding name is helping scientists see how stars are born. Lucifer, which stands for (deep breath) "Large Binocular Telescope Near-infrared Utility with Camera and Integral Field Unit for Extragalactic Research," is a chilled instrument attached to a telescope in Arizona. And yes, it's named for the Devil, whose name itself means "morning star." But it wasn't meant to evoke him, according to a spokesman for the University of Arizona, where it is housed.
The instrument is chilled to -213 Celsius, about -351 F, to allow for near-infrared observations. That wavelength is important for understanding star and planet formation, as well as observing very distant and very young galaxies. Lucifer has three interchangeable cameras for imaging and spectroscopy in different resolutions. It has a large field of view and high-res capabilities, which allow a wide range of observations.
Lucifer is part of the Large Binocular Telescope, which happens to be right next to the Vatican Observatory on Mt. Graham in Tucson. That's right, the Vatican has an observatory in Arizona, manned by Jesuit astronomers. Now its next-door neighbor is named for the Devil.
Scientists at five German universities designed the instrument, and they came up with the name, according to Daniel Stolte, a spokesman for the University of Arizona. Stolte -- who is German -- explained that the team was tossing around names, looking for an acronym that would fit all the technical terms.
"In Germany, they wouldn't have the same hesitation that Americans would have, since it's a very secular country," he said. "I may be completely off, but that's just my hunch -- for us Germans, Lucifer just sounds cool. It's more historical than emotional." No matter your religion, the photos are certainly cool.
lucifer! love the telescope already
Lucifer does not actually mean "morning star" as the article states even though it is often said to mean that, it means "light-bearer". I was also a little disappointed to see that the acronym didn't match the full name of the device.
This practical joke is NOT funny, naming a telescope after Lucifer, whatever the rough acronym. It is offensive to Catholics. Catholics reject this cavalier irresponsibility and we have contacted both the bishop and the Vatican about it. The Jesuits have been opposing Rome for too long and this display of nastiness will not stand. Change the name and apologize to us all.
PS --- We are contacting the bishop and the Vatican over this.
Further down in the article after it explains the acronym "Large Binocular Telescope Near-infrared Utility with Camera and Integral Field Unit for Extragalactic Research" it says 'Lucifer is part of the Large Binocular Telescope' so if you take that part out of the acronym explanation then it sorta makes sense. Just throw out 'Near-infrared' as well for no other reason than there is no 'N' in Lucifer and PrEsTo.
And honestly, for such an entertaining name I'm willing to put up with a little finagling.
I find your offense offensive.
Ohh no, their contacting the Vatican. While your on the phone are you going to ask about the constant scandals and abuses of children?
No one cares if people get offended - there is no protection from offense because everyone does not share your world view, get some thicker skin - you'll enjoy life more.
I am also offended at 2000 years of killing people at the stake who didn't share your views and holding science back, killing millions in the process by delaying medical advances.
You're offense, which is only in your own mind, does not equal the grievous harm that has come about as a result of your archaic belief system. I'm just happy to see the reports that your organization is losing members in droves as people have access to higher forms of education and appreciate the shining light of science over the wishful play-thinking and child-logic of groups such as yours.
SCREW YOU!! erasmus, you petty religious types deserve to have an overgrown pineapple shoved so for up you asses your be tasting pineapple for weeks,
You sit there on your high horse thinkin your high and mighty YOUR NOTHING!!!!!, Chaos will shatter your Fukkin souls and leave you unwhole, chaos rules all, creates all and DESTROYS ALL!!!!!!! Time to accept it or fall like the rest of them will!!Chaos......is......ETERNAL!!!!!!!
Why has my post not appeared?
Heard Steve Quayle(sp)speaking with Stan Deyo state that Vatican and of course 'jesuits' named the Arizona telescope"LUCIFER" as a scandoulous acronym.Did a little research and found that it was not true, but that the rumor was first stated on Popular Science as one 'convert to catholicism' website reported.
Getting on your site the said article does not actually state that the Vaticans 'scope' on Mt Graham is named after 'Lucifer' the 'devil!(Its called VATT).The entire article says nothing about the catholic church or jesuits-the entirity is about the 5 german scientists who named THEIR TELESCOPE after LUCIFER,them being from 'secularized Germany';with this one
YELLOW JOURNALIST comment by the author Rebecca Boyle:
"Lucifer is part of the Large Binocular Telescope, which happens to be right next to the Vatican Observatory on Mt. Graham in Tucson. That's right, the Vatican has an observatory in Arizona, manned by Jesuit astronomers. Now its next-door neighbor is named for the Devil"
How fair would it be for someone to report this:
"Jane Doe is a notorious whore.Rebecca Boyle lives right next door to her.That right,her house is right next door and her mother has not said one word about her drug use.Imagine that,her next door neighbor is a WHORE."
It's too bad that your publication and editors would allow that trash to be published.Allowing ambiguous and misleading comments just feeds confusion; a monstrous implicit innuendo does not do Science justice!Just feeding nonsensical catholic bigotry does a disservice to true and righteous criticism when and where it is due.Science demands a higher standard and I hope you will take that into considertation next time.
These xtians they say they turn the other cheek
THROW THEM TO THE LIONS