Look up into the night sky and you will not see Albert Einstein, the Eiffel Tower or any other 21
For millennia, people have looked to the stars and divided them into constellations: the Hulk … the TARDIS … Schrödinger's cat.  Not familiar with these? That's probably because you can not see them without a gamma-ray telescope – and NASA just invented them.
To highlight the first decade of NASA's discovery of the Fermi-Gamma-Ray Space Telescope, US astronomers have linked the dots to the invisible sources of gamma-ray energy in the Universe. This allowed the researchers to map 21 brand new constellations on the celestial sphere. You will not see these forms in the night sky; Although gamma rays are the strongest sources of light in the universe, they are invisible to the human eye. But you can see the shapes on a new interactive website created by NASA scientist and artist Aurore Simonnet of Sonoma State University in California. [11 Fascinating Facts About Our Milky Way Galaxy]
"Developing these unofficial constellations was a fun way to highlight a decade of Fermi's achievements," said Julie McEnery, a Fermi project scientist and astrophysicist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "In one way or another, all gamma-ray constellations have a connection to Fermi science."
Since its launch in 2008, the Fermi telescope has scanned the cosmos for gamma rays. These high-power beams are invisible to us, but are constantly rushing through the room. They shine from exploding stars, stroke rotating pulsars, and radiate from the edges of unfathomably powerful black holes in the centers of distant galaxies. (According to NASA, about half of the known gamma-ray sources fit in this last category.)
Within seven years of using the telescope, Fermi had already exploded 3,000 unknown sources of gamma production in the sky – about 10 times as many sources that were known before the mission, NASA said.
These gamma explosions, now dug in replacement constellations, take the form of world monuments (such as the Eiffel Tower and the Roman Coliseum), science fiction spaceships (such as Star Trek's Enterprise Star Trek, and "Doctor Who & # 39; 39; s "TARDIS) and tributes to icons of science such as Einstein and the cardboard box containing Erwin Schrödinger's living / dead cat. Perhaps the most elegant combination of medium and message is the constellation of the Hulk, who owes his famous viridizing body to a misinformed gamma-ray experiment.
Stargaze all these new patterns in the sky – and see where they fall into relationship with the 88 visible constellations of light we know and love – right here.
Originally published on Live Science.