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NASA names new constellations after the Hulk and Godzilla



The Hulk and Godzilla are just two of the 21 modern constellations constructed from sources in the gamma-ray sky.

  • NASA announced a new set of modern constellations with light sources in the gamma-ray sky last week] The modern constellation uses modern myths to name patterns such as the Hulk and Godzilla.
  • The new constellations were a way to celebrate the 1
    0th anniversary of the NASA Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope.

Back in July 2008, NASA launched its Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope, and to celebrate ten years of operation, a new series of modern constellations was constructed including the Hulk and Godzilla announced last week.

Perhaps more familiar with some of the official 88 constellations that use some of the brightest stars in the sky – such as Gemini, Hercules and Leo – NASA's new unofficial set is based on modern myths using light sources in gamma-ray sky.

"Developing These Uno Official Constellations has been a fun way to highlight a decade of Fermi's accomplishments," said Julie McEnery, a Fermi Project Scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

NASA pays homage to comics when Dr. Bruce Banner's experiments with gamma rays went awry and compared the similarity of Godzilla's trademark "heat ray" with gamma-ray jets associated with black holes and neutron stars

Other modern constellations include Albert Einstein, the Starship Enterprise Star Trek, the Roman Coliseum, Japan's Mount Fuji, the Eiffel Tower, and other scientific tools or landmarks

Ever since its installation ten years ago, Fermi has scanned the sky every day and measured and mapped gamma-ray sources, the highest-energy light in the universe. Sources range from pulsars to debris from supernova explosions to supermassive black holes.

"By 2015, the number of sources covered by Fermi's Large Area Telescope has increased 3000 to 10 times the number before the mission," said Elizabeth Ferrara, director of the Modern Constellation Project. "For the first time, the number of known gamma-ray sources was comparable to the number of bright stars, so we thought a new constellation would be a great way to illustrate this point."

You can explore all 21 of Fermi's gamma ray constellations using NASA's interactive tool


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