NASA decided to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope by naming 21 new gamma-ray constellations, which…
NASA decided to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope by naming 21 new gamma-ray constellations, which include multiple iconic pop culture references.
The new constellations – which are based on gamma rays opposed to stars – include The Incredible Hulk, Thor’s Hammer Mjolnir, the TARDIS from Doctor Who, the Starship Enterprise, and Godzilla.
An immediate connection with the new additions revolves around The Hulk, as Bruce Banner became his green counterpart due to the result or gamma radiation.
“Gamma rays are the strongest form of light,” NASA explained. “They pack enough punch to convert into matter under the right circumstances, a transformation both Banner and the Hulk would certainly appreciate.”
NASA made unique connections for each new constellation, especially the ones surrounding pop culture.
With the Mjolnir, NASA said that “This constellation symbolizes Fermi’s work investigating Terrestrial Gamma-ray Flashes (TGFs) associated with lightning from thunderstorms on Earth. A thunderstorm is a powerful natural particle accelerator. It can generate streams or subatomic particles moving near the speed of light that results in a flash of gamma rays lasting about a thousandth of a second. “
For Godzilla, NASA explained that his trademark weapon is a heat ray. “This is at least a passing resemblance to gamma ray jets associated with black holes and neutron stars.”
The TARDIS is connected in a more overall representation of scientists’ work on ways to expand current theories to better understand the universe.
“In our universe, astronomers can not travel into the past, but they can look into it by studying light from distant objects,” NASA said. “The farther away we look, the longer light takes to reach us, so
NASA said the Starship Enterprise has its own connections to gamma rays. “The engines of the most famous vessel in the “Star Trek” universe, the USS Enterprise, are powered by the annihilation of matter and antimatter, a process that produces energy in the form of gamma rays. “
All 21 constellations can be viewed and detailed in NASA’s hands- on sky map, where Einstein, Mount Fuji, and the Golden Gate Bridge can also be seen and read about in their in-depth descriptions.
For more on NASA, check out the incredible close-up photos of Jupiter that were released last year and more evidence NASA found that suggests that there was a life on Mars.
Jessie Wade is a newswriter for IGN and took as many astronomy classes she could in college before her brain could not handle the math involved in the realm of physics. Chat with her on Twitter @jessieannwade if you are also an astronomy nerd.