NASA discovers question mark in space | Inquirer Technology

NASA discovers question mark in space

09:11 AM August 09, 2023

If you’re puzzled about daily life, it seems outer space shares your sentiment. NASA found a question mark-shaped figure in a James Webb Space Telescope picture. JSWT scoffed at the mysterious object as a mere out-of-focus faraway galaxy. However, it fueled imaginations online, sparking numerous funny jokes and memes.

Many people refer to the vast expanse of space as the “final frontier.” The universe expands infinitely, inspiring countless movies and stories about what could be out there. Fortunately, NASA helps the world peek into that pitch-black curtain. We should expect strange phenomena, such as the possibility of a giant punctuation mark!


This article will discuss the NASA question mark and share explanations from various experts. Then, I will cover what ordinary people thought about the strange heavenly body.

What is the NASA question mark? first reported on the unusual space phenomenon. It said the James Webb Space Telescope team at the European Space Agency published images of two developing stars 1,470 light years away from Earth.

JSWT names the stars Herbig-Haro 46 and 47. We have not confirmed what these objects are at the time of writing, but some researchers shared their ideas.

Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) representatives told, “It’s probably a distant galaxy or potentially interacting galaxies (their interactions may have caused the distorted question mark shape).”

“This may be the first time we’ve seen this particular object. Additional follow-up would be required to figure out what it is with any certainty. Webb is showing us many new, distant galaxies – so there’s a lot of new science to be done!” the experts added.

STScl says the object’s red color suggests it is far away. More importantly, it is the first cosmic question mark astronomers have seen. Also, Illinois State University professor Matt Caplan told the space news outlet that the NASA question mark could be two galaxies merging.

“The two distinct could easily be merging galaxies in the background, with the upper part of the question mark being part of a larger galaxy getting tidally disrupted.”


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“Given the color of some of the other background galaxies, this doesn’t seem like the worst explanation. Despite how chaotic mergers are, double-lobed objects with lobed objects with curvy tails extending away from them are very typical.”

The professor thinks it could depict other heavenly bodies, except a star. Caplan explained it lacks the eight-pronged refraction spikes that starlight emits when it hits telescope mirrors.

Nevertheless, we can expect more amazing discoveries thanks to the JWST. Its high-resolution near-infrared imaging capabilities let it peek into deep space.

How did people react?

Global reactions to NASA's space discovery: Shock, awe, and intrigue.

Photo Credit:

The NASA question mark spread quickly online, causing many to share jokes and memes. For example, most Reddit posts alluded to video game mechanics.

For example, RemarkableToast said, “Looks like NASA has a quest to turn in.” Completing in-game objectives or quests requires players to notify a non-playable character with an overhead punctuation mark.

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Droideater had a similar joke: Quick, turn that quest in. The XP will be stellar!” The acronym refers to experience points players receive after completing objectives.

Also, Redditor Oldjames 47 remarked, “It’s a 10 billion light-year escort quest, but the NPC moves at 1% of C.” NPCs are non-playable characters that follow players during escort missions.

Others jested it was video game content loading in the distance. “No big deal. That part of space just hasn’t rendered yet,” stated Horrus70. Some joked it was part of a video game’s downloadable content. “God out here hitting us with that DLC,” FarewellAndroid said.


NASA discovered a mysterious figure shaped like a question mark in space. Many experts believe it is a blurry snapshot of faraway galaxies merging.

Of course, most people on the internet merely had fun with the strange photo by sharing memes and jokes. The space agency hasn’t confirmed what it is at the time of writing.

Nonetheless, we can expect more interesting cosmic discoveries thanks to the James Webb Space Telescope. Check out more digital trends at Inquirer Tech.

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TOPICS: interesting topics, NASA, Trending
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