Scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) today released what they called “amazing” photos of what appears to be a fingernail clipping and a dot.
Paolo Crozariol of Brazil (whose amazing photo is shown above) called the nail-and-dot “an amazing show”. Photographer Mike Black took “amazing close-ups” of the event, showing the full dottiness of the dot. The website Space.com is collecting a set of “amazing photos” from around the world.
The dot is believed to be a point of light in the sky. Scientists were amazed by the finding, as no one had ever before seen a point of light in the sky. Astrobiologists believe the nail fragment was Maybe trimmed from the claw of a space dinosaur, one of many that brought the Earth’s first rocks from Mars tens of thousands of years ago.
Credit for the amazingness of the pictures goes to the U.S. Congress for passing the Amazing Space Exploration Act, which officially defines anything NASA does as Amazing.
NASA Administrator Michael Griffin told reporters that since humans stopped going to the moon in 1972, most of the U.S. space program was being taken for granted. “There is a very select clientele who are interested in the minutiae of space dust and planetary fly-bys. By declaring every picture and press release NASA does to be amazing, we automatically raise our profile, which means more money for us!”
The word “amazing” (from the Greek amaze – a set of twisty little passages, all alike) has traditionally been used to describe things and objects which evoked surprise or delight. The bill to make NASA amazing started in the Senate Appropriations committee, which has direct responsibility for appropriating words from the English language for innovative purposes. The act had the overwhelming support of the Congressional Boring Caucus, a bipartisan group of 429 House members. One caucus member droned on for 7 straight hours in a committee hearing, causing the chairman to mutter to himself, “Amazing!”
The committee is most well known for its 2009 statute appropriating the word “unexpectedly” to describe all economic events, with no regard as to whether they were expected or not. Earlier this year, Congress enacted a similar law requiring dictionary manufacturers to redefine the word “literally” to mean “not literally”.
A bill to rebrand NASA as the National Amazing Space Administration is expected to move to the floor of the Senate early next year. Tennis pro Venus Williams and actress Moon Bloodgood appeared before Congress to testify. Engineers at NASA are working in conjunction with Moon and Venus to design a really cool logo featuring a smile and beauty mark, or maybe a backwards semicolon.
(Click the picture to read the amazing original story.)