Cult TV show Doctor Who has landed itself an out of this world honour from NASA.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (that’s NASA’s proper name) has just added a group of new gamma-ray star configurations, and they’ve brought in some inspiration from the world of mythology, popular culture and science to help them decide names.
And luckily for fans, that includes a Doctor Who reference.
According to Radio Times, the Doctor’s time-travelling phone box the Tardis is being used to describe one of the newly discovered unofficial constellations. It was recently unveiled by NASA to celebrate 10 years of activity for the Fermi Gamma-Ray Space Telescope.
Godzilla, the Incredible Hulk and the Starship Enterprise are some of the other pop-culture icons to find their way into NASA’s project, so the Tardis is in a pretty good company.
Gamma-rays in the sky, seen by our @NASAFermi telescope! To celebrate the mission’s 10-year anniversary, scientists used Fermi sources to create a set of unofficial gamma-ray constellations. Explore the interactive map and find them all: https://t.co/m3pF7WHOQT pic.twitter.com/pPtiPfHJY1
— NASA (@NASA) 19 October 2018
Unfortunately for us mere mortals, these new configurations aren’t visible to the naked eye, so Fermi’s website has helped us out and created an interactive celestial map.
Meanwhile, in Doctor Who world, showrunner Chris Chibnall recently confirmed that the franchise’s classic monsters won’t make a return in the current eleventh series.
“It’s just that this year in the series we’ve got new monsters and new faces, but as is relatively well-known, I’m as big a fan of the show as anyone,” he revealed.
“So there are lots of things you would like to bring back, and we might do that in future. But just not this year.”
Source – Digital Spy