northanger (northanger) wrote,

wikifiles :: Big Dumb Object

searching for banker asteroids, found this:

Big Dumb Object

A term probably coined by reviewer Roz Kaveney (in Foundation: The International Review of Science Fiction, issue 22, 1981) and used in discussing science fiction, a Big Dumb Object (BDO) is a mysterious artifact (usually alien) in a story which generates an intense sense of wonder just by being there; to a certain extent, the term deliberately deflates this.

J.G. Ballard's short story, "Report on an Unidentified Space Station" (1982) is an exploration of the metaphor of the BDO: in each successive report, the artifact's estimated size increases, people become lost within it, and the reader eventually realises that the mysterious artifact, of unknown purpose and origin, apparently abandoned by its unknown creator(s), is the Universe itself.

asteroids named after bankers :: #5539-LIMPORYEN, (Lim Por-yen, Hong Kong media tycoon & banker); #922-SCHLUTIA, (German businessman Edgar Schlubach & Henry Frederick Tiarks, British banker & amateur astronomer, who together financed the solar eclipse expedition of 1922 to Java); #991-MCDONALDA, (McDonald Observatory, Texas, originally endowed by the Texas banker William Johnson McDonald).

two asteroids discovered at McDonald Observatory: #4462-VAUGHN & #4182-MOUNT LOCKE (one of the mountains the observatory sits on).


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