Legendary musician David Bowie passed away on January 10, just two days after he celebrated his 69th birthday, and the tributes to him just keep on coming.
In honor of the late musician, Belgian astronomers made an effort to register a constellation in David Bowie’s name. Not only that, the shape of the constellation — a lighting bolt — is the perfect one to commemorate “The Man Who Fell to Earth.” One of David Bowie’s most iconic looks can be seen on his 1973 album, Aladdin Sane, wherein Bowie sports lighting bolt makeup, which is said to be a representation of the duality of mind.
— extremely gorgeous d (@torrenstiberio) December 7, 2015
Bowie was also inspired by the mystical universe, having hits such as “Life on Mars,” “Starman,” and “Space Oddity.” In addition, he was also known as the persona Ziggy Stardust, an androgynous and glam-rock alter-ego that emerged in the 1970s. “Ziggy Stardust” is also the title of a song in his fifth album, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.
In a 1987 interview with Rolling Stone, David Bowie talked more about the lighting bolt makeup, which he said he came up with.
“I came up with the flash thing on the face. Lighting bolt. An electric kind of thing. Instead of, like, the flame of a lamp, I though he would probably be cracked by lighting. Sort of an obvious-type thing, as he was sort of an electric boy.”
— People Magazine (@people) January 18, 2016
The constellation was registered by the astronomers from the MIRA public observatory in partnership with Studio Brussel, a Belgian radio station. They admitted that choosing the perfect location for the constellation was not an easy task. The location they came up with was in the vicinity of Mars.
As People reported, David Bowie’s lighting bolt constellation consists of seven stars as a tribute to seven of his albums.
“Referring to his various albums, we chose seven stars. Sigma Librae, Spica, Alpha Virginis, Zeta Centauri, SAA 204123 and the Beta Sigma Octantis Trianguli Australis.”
Philippe Mollet of the MIRA Observatory talked more about choosing and registering David Bowie’s constellation. In a statement, via The Guardian, Mollet said that it wasn’t easy “to determine the appropriate stars.”
“Studio Brussels asked us to give Bowie a unique place in the galaxy.”
“The constellation is a copy of the iconic Bowie lighting and was recorded at the exact time of his death.”
The David Bowie constellation can be viewed on the website Stardust for Bowie, which is site by Google Sky that was created to pay homage to Ziggy Stardust. On the website, fans who want to pay tribute to Bowie can click on the constellation and add their favorite David Bowie song. Each tribute added to the constellation makes it shine brighter, which makes the lightning bolt more visible when viewed on Google Sky’s large map.
Amid the news of David Bowie’s lighting bolt constellation, National Geographic has published an article that states new constellations cannot be renamed, as the sky has already been “divided into 88 constellations with well-defined celestial borders,” which is recognized by the official naming body, the International Astronomical Union.
However, the same article noted that one tribute to David Bowie had already been made on January 5, 2015. The tribute, described as a “mile-wide asteroid,” was discovered in 2008 and was renamed “342843 DavidBowie” in 2015.
[Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images]