Look up at Night Sky and you will not see Albert Einstein, the Eiffel Tower or any of the other…
Look up at Night Sky and you will not see Albert Einstein, the Eiffel Tower or any of the other 21
gamma ray constellations NASA recently named  Credit: NASA
For thousands of years people have looked up at the stars and ordered them to constellations: Hulk … TARDIS … Schrödinger cat. 19659005] Not familiar with these? It’s probably because you can not see them without a gamma-ray telescope – and even NASA has just invented them.
To mark the first decade of discoveries recorded by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope, American astronomers have linked the dots on the universe’s invisible sources of gamma ray energy. This enabled researchers to map 21 completely new constellations in the heavenly sphere. You will not see these shapes in the night sky; Despite the fact that the universe is the most powerful light source, gamma rays are invisible to human eyes. But you can see the shapes on a new, interactive site created by NASA scientist and artist Aurore Simonnet, of Sonoma State University in California. [11 Fascinating Facts About Our Milky Way Galaxy]
“The development of these unofficial constellations was a fun way to highlight a decade of Fermis achievements,” said Julie McEnery, a Fermi project scientist and astrophysicist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, in a statement. “In one way or another, all gamma ray constellations have a connection to Fermi science.”
Since its introduction in 2008, the Fermi telescope has cut the cosmos for gamma-ray rays. These high-powered rays are invisible to us but are blurred all the time over space. They glow out of exploding stars, flowing from spinning pulses and radiating from the edges of indestructible powerful black holes in the center of distant galaxies. (According to NASA, about half of the world’s known gamma ray sources are in the last category.)
Within seven years after the telescope deployment, Fermi had already mapped about 3,000 previously unknown sources of gammaen give as exploding over the sky – about 10 times the number of known known before the mission, according to NASA.
Completed now in ersatz constellations, these gamma blasts are the form of world architecture (like the Eiffel Tower and Roman Colosseum), sci-fi spacecraft (such as Star Trek Enterprise from Star Trek and Doctor Who’s time traveling TARDIS) and commemorates science icons like Einstein and the box box containing Erwin Schrödingers live / dead cat. Perhaps it is the most elegant marriage of the medium and message constellation of Hulk, guilty of its famous viral bid of an old-ray experiment that has gone wrong.
Stargaze on all these new patterns in the sky – and see where they are related to the 88 visible light constellations we know and love – here.
Originally published on Live Science.