NASA has officially named a constellation after Godzilla, drawing comparisons to his atomic breath ability.
Godzilla is often recognized as the origin point of the tokusatsu genre, and the titular character has a long history as one of the most famous pop culture icons originating in Japan. For the past year, TOHO co. Ltd. has been releasing films in a Godzilla animated trilogy with the final entree set to release next month. Additionally, the sequel to 2014’s Godzilla is set to release in May, eventually leading to a crossover with King Kong. Now, the “King of the Monsters” is taking to the stars with NASA naming a new constellation after him.
NASA’s explanation behind naming the Godzilla constellation deals with Godzilla’s own “heat ray” ability. According to NASA, “This bears at least a passing resemblance to gamma-ray jets associated with black holes and neutron stars.” Such gamma-ray jets are visible in the Godzilla constellation, mostly in the form of blazars which are defined as active galactic nuclei with their jets traveling in a direction close to Earth. The picture below outlines the parts of the Godzilla constellation.
Godzilla is not the first pop culture icon to be immortalized in outer space. Other NASA-recognized constellations based on pop culture include the Hulk and the TARDIS constellations.