Scientists with NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have named a star constellation after Godzilla. The constellation was found from sources in the gamma-ray sky, which is invisible to the human eye. The King of Monsters constellation was named to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the powerful Fermi telescope. In addition to Godzilla, Albert Einstein, Marvel's The Hulk, and the TARDIS from Doctor Who were also given unofficial constellations to celebrate. However, the Godzilla constellation is the biggest and the name was chosen because the constellation's stars often emit insane gamma-ray bursts similar to the atomic breath of the iconic monster.
Godzilla is a world-wide phenomenon, and now the King of Monsters is gaining popularity out in the universe. Godzilla is the perfect name for such a massive and powerful constellation that came to be after a huge explosion of gamma-rays. A NASA statement explained specifically how the Godzilla constellation came to be. The statement reads.
"Gamma-ray jets also occur in other types of astrophysical systems. When a massive star runs out of fuel and collapses under its own weight, or when two orbiting neutron stars spiral together and merge, a new black hole - and high-speed jets - may form. The result is a gamma-ray burst, the most powerful explosion in the cosmos. These monstrous blasts, which occur somewhere in the distant universe every day or so according to observations by Fermi's Gamma-ray Burst Monitor, would make even Godzilla envious."
The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope was first brought into use in 2008 as a way for scientists to perform gamma-ray astronomy observations from low Earth orbit. The gamma-ray mission is a joint venture of NASA, the United States Department of Energy, and government agencies in France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Sweden. It has since become the most sensitive gamma-ray telescope currently in use. Fermi project scientist Julie McEnery says, "Developing these unofficial constellations was a fun way to highlight a decade of Fermi's accomplishments."
Godzilla is one of the most famous monsters in the world and is one of the most recognizable symbols of Japanese popular culture. Nuclear weapons testing is what wakes the prehistoric beast from his slumber, causing Godzilla to wreak havoc on Japan. NASA reveals that most of the gamma-ray sources visible in the Godzilla constellation are actually AGN, as are more than half the gamma-ray "stars" Fermi has cataloged in the last ten years, which means that it's huge.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters is set to hit theaters on May 31st, 2019, giving the world more of the iconic monster. However, it's pretty hard to top NASA recognizing the prehistoric legend with its own star constellation. It just goes to show that Godzilla's popularity hasn't diminished at all since 1954 when the monster was first introduced. You can read more about the Godzilla Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope constellation over at the Fermi website.