In celebration of the 10th anniversary of NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, NASA has named 21 new gamma-ray constellations.
NASA has um… gone a bit off the reserve when it comes to naming them.
Take “Hulk” for example, which is named for The Incredible Hulk!
Yep, that’s The Incredible Hulk alright.
Here’s the thing: These constellations aren’t based on stars, they’re based on gamma rays, as observed by the Fermi telescope. Which makes total sense when you consider that Bruce Banner became The Incredible Hulk as a result of gamma radiation. Genius!
“Gamma rays are the strongest form of light,” explained NASA. “They pack enough punch to convert into matter under the right circumstances, a transformation both Banner and the Hulk would certainly appreciate.”
But the Hulk isn’t the only pop culture reference NASA has managed to drop. There’s also a gamma-ray constellation named after Mjolnir, Thor’s hammer and the Tardis, from.
They’ve also named one after Godzilla.
“Godzilla’s trademark weapon is its ‘heat ray,’ a fiery jet,” said NASA, which has clearly spent way too much time thinking about this. “This bears at least a passing resemblance to gamma-ray jets associated with black holes and neutron stars.”
You can check out all 21 constellations, along with in-depth descriptions, here.