When Godzilla made his screen debut in 1954, he was, like most Japanese media of the era, designed just for Japan. But in the decades since, the King of the Monsters has expanded his dominion, appearing in theaters around the world.
That international recognition even earned the kaiju his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, but now Godzilla finds himself among not just movie stars, but celestial ones as well, as NASA has announced a Godzilla constellation.
The Godzilla constellation isn’t made up of stars, though. Instead, the astronomic artwork is formed of gamma rays, as observed by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope. Launched in 2008, NASA is marking the satellite’s decade in service by establishing 21 gamma-ray constellations, and similar to how stargazers of yore took inspiration from ancient legends, the space agency is saluting modern mythos with constellations referencing not only Godzilla, but also "Star Trek," "The Little Prince" and "The Incredible Hulk."
The Godzilla constellation came about when researchers noticed its gamma-ray jet, a phenomenon in which matter falling towards a black hole compresses and glows from heat as it accelerates. When mapped, the gamma-ray jet resembles the fiery flow of Godzilla’s iconic atomic breath (or “heat ray,” as NASA calls the kaiju’s signature attack).
Godzilla isn’t the only symbol of Japan getting a nod in the gamma-ray constellations either. Not so far away in the sky (at least in terms of angle of observation) from him is…
Source: NASA PR Times
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