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Astronomers Have Dedicated a Lightning Bolt Shaped Constellation to David Bowie

Ode to a Starman.

by Noisey Staff
Jan 18 2016, 10:00am

From the moment he wrote “Space Oddity”, through to the tones, tales and character of everything that orbited Ziggy Stardust, David Bowie was forever intrinsically linked to the cosmos. A link that become ionized when astronaut Chris Hadfield streamed himself playing Bowie songs in outer space. Now, Belgian astronomers have paid homage to his extra-terrestrial imagination, by registering a new constellation that is shaped like the lightning bolt that covered his face on the iconic cover of Aladdin Sane.

The project was a collaboration between Belgian radio station Studio Brussels and the American researchers at MIRA Public Observatory, and the constellation consists of seven stars which sit in the vicinity of Mars (yes, where the spiders are), making it a new addition to the eighty eight registered constellations.

"It was not easy to determine the appropriate stars," said Philippe Mollet from MIRA Public Observatory. "Studio Brussels asked us to give Bowie a unique place in the galaxy. Referring to his various albums, we chose seven stars: Sigma Librae, Spica, Alpha Virginis, Zeta Centauri, SAA 204 132, and the Beta Sigma Octantis Trianguli Australis – in the vicinity of Mars. The constellation is a copy of the iconic Bowie lightning and was recorded at the exact time of his death."