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NASA Shares an Image of Nebula

NASA Spitzer Space Telescope captured a gorgeous view of a nebula full of gas and dust. Caltech astronomer Robert Hurt, who works with Spitzer images, saw something more than a space sight. He saw Godzilla.

Hurt said in a NASA JPL statement this week that I wasn’t looking for monsters. It just happened to glance at a region of sky that I’ve browsed many times before, but he never zoomed in on. Sometimes if you just crop an area differently, it brings out something that you didn’t see before. It was the eyes and mouth that roared ‘Godzilla’ to me.

NASA JPL created a handy outlined version of the nebula to highlight the Godzilla-like features. The nebula is in the constellation Sagittarius. Spitzer — who retired in 2020 — saw the cosmos in infrared. The different colours in the image represent different wavelengths of light.  If spooky space imagery is your jam, you’ll want to try out the Spitzer Artistronomy site, which lets you draw your imagined designs onto scenic space objects.

Spitzer may no longer be active, but the telescope’s science legacy is alive and well. I look for compelling areas that can tell a story. Sometimes it’s a story about how stars and planets form, and sometimes it’s about a giant monster rampaging through Tokyo.

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