• JIJI, Staff Report

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Using the orbiting Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, an international research group that includes NASA researchers has named a constellation of gamma ray-emitting stars Godzilla, according to movie distributor Toho Co.

Godzilla is among the 22 newly recognized constellations of such stars. They are different from the 88 official ones designated by the International Astronomical Union.

According to a recent announcement by Toho, the constellation was named after the company’s popular character because gamma-ray bursts there, which happen around a black hole and other areas, resemble Godzilla’s “heat ray,” or fiery jet — the giant creature’s trademark weapon.

The 22 constellations were recognized to commemorate the research group’s feat of discovering more than 3,000 gamma-ray sources. Among the names chosen for the new constellations are the Hulk, the Little Prince, the Enterprise from “Star Trek” and Mount Fuji.

On its website, NASA describes Godzilla as one of cinema’s most famous monsters and it is among the most recognizable symbols of popular Japanese culture.

Since the film “Godzilla” premiered in 1954, 29 Godzilla movies have been produced in Japan with the latest, “Shin Godzilla,” released in 2016.

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