David Bowie Gets His Own Constellation

Belgian astronomers honor Starman with a lightning bolt constellation

Stardust For Bowie

The silver lining behind the heartbreaking death of David Bowie a week ago has been the world’s near-unified celebration of one of the most talented and prolific musicians ever known. We’ve already seen astronauts on board the ISS [pay tribute to Bowie. Here on the surface, scientists have gone ahead and immortalized Bowie alongside the ranks of Aquarius, Cassiopeia, and Orion — by giving him his own constellation.

The seven-star figure, determined by a joint venture between Belgian radio station Studio Brussel and the MIRA public observatory, outlines the shape of a lightning bolt — inspired by the red and blue figure painted on Bowie’s face for the cover of his 1973 album Aladdin Sane.

According to Philippe Mollet at the MIRA Observatory, the shape of constellation was pre-determined. The bigger challenge was figuring out exactly where to place the constellation in the galaxy. The astronomers ultimately chose a set of seven stars in the vicinity of Mars. Quite fitting, actually.

“The constellation is a copy of the iconic Bowie lightning and was recorded at the exact time of his death,” Mollet said in a statement.

The constellation is part of the larger Stardust for Bowie project that lets users get on Google Sky and add Bowie’s songs and a short note to a digital map of the constellation.

R.I.P., Starman.

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