NASA shared an amazing image of a colourful Nebula, which may remind you of a Japanese mythical monster.

The image, captured by the now-retired Spitzer Space Telescope, features bright spots ‘like the piercing eyes and elongated snout’ of Godzilla. 

Often referred to as the ‘king of the monsters’, Godzilla has been the subject of the world’s longest-running film franchise since its big screen debut in 1954. 

This particular nebula, in the constellation Sagittarius in the Southern celestial hemisphere, is dotted with amazing kaleidoscopic colours that represent different wavelengths of infrared light. 

Can you see Godzilla? The image, captured by the now-retired retired Spitzer Space Telescope, features bright spots   like the piercing eyes and elongated snout of the fictional monster from Japan
In case you missed it, a stencil drawn around the nebula brings the fictional monster to life

This nebula is nearly completely obscured by dust clouds when it is viewed in visible sunlight, which is the light human eyes can detect. Infrared light, which is longer than what our eyes can see, can penetrate the clouds and reveal its amazing beauty.

A nebula (or nebula) is an immense cloud of dust and gases that occupies the space between stars and acts as a nursery for stars. 

Nebulae are formed when a star larger than our sun starts to die and gives off a solar-wind of gas. 

In case it was not obvious, a stencil around the Nebula brings the fictional monster alive. 

NASA will let the public draw their own stencils with the Spitzer Artistronomy website app if they think they can do a better job.  

Godzilla has been the subject of the world's longest-running film franchise since its big screen debut in 1954. Pictured is a still from the 1954 film, 'Godzilla'

Since 1954, Godzilla has been the subject matter of the longest-running film franchise in the world. The image is from the 1954 film, Godzilla.


When a star that is larger than our sun dies, a planetary nebulae is formed. It emits a solar-wind gas.

As the wind grows older, it becomes more violent and clashes often with fragments from old stars, creating strange shapes.

Later, the outer layers of a star are blown away and exposed the star’s hot center. This lights up the surrounding gases and creates the eerie glow. 

The nebula can only be visible to Earth once it has begun glowing.

The shape of a nebula can be affected by factors like how the star spins, at what angle it is viewed from and the chemical composition.

The new image was shared by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is managed by the nearby California Institute of Technology (Caltech).  

Robert Hurt (Caltech astronomer), who processed the image, was the first to spot Godzilla. 

‘I just happened upon a region in the sky that I’ve looked at many times before, but had never zoomed into. 

“Sometimes, if you just crop an entire area differently, it brings out something you didn’t know you had.” It was the eyes, mouth, and ears that roared Godzilla to me.  

The Godzilla-like nebula is located in the constellation Sagittarius along the plane of the Milky Way, which was part of Spitzer’s GLIMPSE Survey (Galactic Legacy Infrared Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire). 

NASA says: ‘Stars in the upper right – where this cosmic Godzilla’s eyes and snout are seen – are an unknown distance from Earth but within our galaxy. 

‘Located about 7,800 light-years from Earth, the bright region in the lower left, appearing as Godzilla’s right hand, is known as W33.’ 

This nebula almost disappears when viewed in visible sunlight, which is what our eyes can detect. 

But infrared light – wavelengths longer than what our eyes can perceive – can penetrate the clouds, revealing its astonishing beauty.  

NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope retired last year after more than 16 years of exploring the universe in infrared light

NASA’s Spitzer Space telescope was retired last year after 16 years of infrared light exploration.


1 NASA’s Four Great Observatories

3 Scientific instruments aboard

85Mirror for cm telescope

16.4Years in space

More than 36.5 millionRaw images taken

Furthest objects as they appeared 13.4 billionMany years ago 

90.1 per cent observing efficiency 

Effective January 30, 2020

Source: NASA 

Four colours – blue, cyan, green and red – are used to represent different wavelengths of infrared light; yellow and white are combinations of those wavelengths. 

Blue and Cy are wavelengths that are primarily emitted primarily by stars, while dust, organic molecules called hydrocarbons, appear green. Warm dust heated by stars or supernovae appears to be red. 

Scientists often name Nebulas based on similarities with Earth-based characters or objects, such as a cat’s claw, a tarantula, and a veil. 

Astronomers have also seen a black widow spider, a Hallowe’en lamp, a snake and an exposed human brain in Spitzer images. 

Spitzer retired in January 2020. Scientists continue to mine the massive data for new information about and impressive new images. 

‘It’s one of the ways that we want people to connect with the incredible work that Spitzer did,’ Hurt said. 

“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.’  

This image from Spitzer shows the Cat's Paw nebula, so named for the large, round features that create the impression of a feline footprint. The nebula is a star-forming region in the Milky Way galaxy, located in the constellation Scorpius

Spitzer’s image shows the Cat’s Paw Neobula. It is named after its large, round features, which give it the appearance of a feline footprint. The constellation Scorpius is home to the nebula, which is a star-forming area in the Milky Way galaxy.

The Tarantula Nebula shows of the full breadth of Spitzer's capabilities, according to project scientist Michael Werner from the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab in California. Spitzer was retired in January 2020

According to Michael Werner (NASA Jet Propulsion Lab, California), the Tarantula Nebula is a demonstration of Spitzer’s capabilities. In January 2020, Spitzer was retired

Spitzer was one of NASA’s four Great Observatories – large, powerful space-based astronomical telescopes that were launched between 1990 and 2003.

The fab four – Spitzer, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, the Chandra x-ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope – were each built to specifically observe regions of the light spectrum.

Satellite light readings can be used by scientists to determine the mass and size stars in other galaxies, and the planets that pass near them. 

NASA stated that NASA’s Great Observatories program demonstrated that different wavelengths of light can create a better picture of the universe.  

Only the Chandra and the Hubble remain active out of the four, while the Compton was decommissioned back in 2000.

All Spitzer data is available for free in the Spitzer data archive.


The Spitzer Space Telescope – formerly known as the Space Infrared Telescope Facility – was an infrared cousin of the Hubble Space Telescope.

It consisted of a cryogenically cooled, space-borne telescope with lightweight optics. This telescope delivered light to large-format infrared arrays. 

It was capable of studying objects from the Solar System to the far reaches of the universe. 

Peering back into the early universe, it looked at young galaxies and forming stars.

It is also used for detecting dust disks around stars. This is considered an important indicator of planetary formation.

 This mission was the fourth and last observatory under NASA’s Great Observatories Program.

Great Observatories include the Hubble Telescope, Chandra X-Ray Observatory, and Compton Gamma Ray Observatory.

Spitzer was launched into orbit around Sun in 2003. It followed Earth’s lead and drifted in a benign thermal climate.

This orbit could allow the spacecraft to adopt a new ‘warm launch’ architecture. Only the instrument payload is chilled at launch. 

Spitzer could be equipped with special cooling in deepspace to reduce liquid helium, which would result in lower mission development costs.

The four great observatories telescopes

Hubble Space Telescope(1990-) Observes visible light and near ultravioletet

Compton Gamma Ray Observatory(1991-2000), observed gammas and hard xrays.

Chandra X-ray Observatory(1999-) Soft x-rays. 

Spitzer Space TelescopeThe infrared spectrum was observed between 2003 and 2020.