Clash of the pre-titans


In space taxonomy news, controversy has erupted among astronomers who can’t tell a cosmic caterpillar from a tadpole in an interstellar pond.

When first discovered in 2003, the object was originally named the Immensely Ravenous Astronomical Squiggle (IRAS) 20324. Further observations in 2006 determined that the cosmic squiggle was 4057 more than previously thought, and after determining that more was better than less the name was changed to IRAS 20324+4057. A spokesman for the Hubble Heritage Team explained that the astronomers refused to add the numbers together because that was “mathematician work”, and no mathematicians were available.

The object is 4500 light years away, which means that today the object is either a really big space butterfly or a really old space frog. Scientists from the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute are engaged in negotiations to determine who will have to sit and watch for the next four and a half millennia to determine a winner.

According to reports, astronomers are “keen” to see what emerges from the neato space object.  Vegas oddsmakers have the space frog as a 7-point favorite.


The object can be seen in the northern sky between the constellations of Cygnus the Turkey-Headed Swan and Lyra the Mutant Velociraptor-Eagle (pictured above).

The caterpillar vs. tadpole conflict has taken an ugly turn in Los Angeles, where the cosmic creature and the Hubble team* are under attack from a cadre of Hollywood celebrities. The offenders, described as “65 of the hottest, brightest known stars”, are led by Scarlett Johansson and Lisa Kudrow, respectively. The two ring leaders (calling themselves the “O-type” stars), joined by such B-type stars as Eva Longoria and Jennifer Love Hewitt, have been waging a campaign of harrassing the larval space creature with harsh winds, UV radiation, and cruel Twitter comments like this:

@KateBcknsale: glb plrglh warts 4 u #GoCaterpillar RT

Attempts to explain what “4500 light years away” meant in the context of timely harrassment were met with vacant smiles from the hot stars. The bright stars were unavailable for comment.

One astronomer, who requested anonymity for fear of being teased as a Star Trek geek, said that there is some agreement between the camps. “Everybody is absolutely convinced that IRAS is definitely not a giant planet-eating doomsday machine, which would be totally cool. But bad. Definitely bad, particularly for species that lived on planets 4500 years ago.”

* The astronomers, not the Crimson Telescopes (3-7).

(Click the picture at the top to read the original article.)

(Editor’s Note: This article probably should have included pictures of Scarlett Johansson, Lisa Kudrow,  Eva Longoria, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and/or Kate Beckinsale.  We regret the error.)

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