Pac-Man On The Moon???
The spacecraft called Cassini has been in orbit around Saturn and captured an amazing view of the small moon of Mimas. The probe measures the difference in temperature across the whole of the object’s surface, when viewed as a whole it appears as if 80’s legend Pac-Man is hidden within the moon. Scientists are unsure why Mimas looks this was but says it is probably related to the diversity of textures in the surface materials. “Some textures may retain heat better than others”, they explain. Either way, as children of the 80’s growing up with Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Breakout and other Arcade classics we think this is cool!
The moon is approximately 400km (250 miles) across and has a distinctive scar called Herschel Crater which has led many to compare it to the “Death Star” from the Star Wars movies. Although this sounds like there is a dull comparison website comparing iconic characters and moons we still found this amusing. The Cassini team take it a little more seriously saying that the creation of the crater itself might have played a key role in changing conditions across extensive regions of the moon’s surface leading to the appearance of Pac-Man
Cassini is a joint venture between the US space agency (Nasa), the European Space Agency (Esa) and the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and it’s mission was recently extended through to 2017. I’m waiting for them to find Space Invaders on Jupiter!