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Cassini Spacecraft Snaps Beautiful Image of Saturn’s Pac-Man/Death Star Moon Mimas

That's no moon... It's a space stati-- oh? Oh, it's actually a moon. Okay then.


If you don’t have a favorite moon of Saturn, let us make a case for Mimas. Thermal images make it look like Pac-Man, but regular pictures like this new one from NASA’s Cassini spacecraft make it look like the Death Star. It shows Mimas passing by its little oblong-shaped buddy Pandora. Space is pretty.

The image was taken back in May of this year, and captured in blue light using Cassini’s narrow-angle camera. It shows Mimas and its much smaller sibling Pandora as they pass near one another. Mimas measures 246 miles across, while Pandora only measures 50 miles across. It’s diminutive size means Pandora lacks the required gravity to pull itself into a round shape like larger bodies. Besides that, it doesn’t even look like anything from video games or Star Wars. Get it together, Pandora.

The moons contrast beautifully with Saturn’s rings and the darkness of space as they orbit the gas giant. It makes for a wonderful image, but it’s frightening to think how easily Grand Moff Tarkin could order Mimas to blow up Saturn just to prove a point to the rebels.

(via NASA, image via NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute)

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Glen is a comedian, writer, husband, and father. He won his third-grade science fair and is a former preschool science teacher, which is a real job.