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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Nasa found Pac-Man on the Saturn Moon

Nasa spacecraft takes amazing thermal image of Saturn moon

Pac-Man on the Saturn MoonScientists operating the Cassini spacecraft in its orbit around Saturn have discovered that one of the planet's moons looks remarkably like the hungry 1980s video game icon Pac-Man.

Cassini took this thermal image of the surface of Mimas and produced a map which looks just like the video game character.

The probe measures temperature differences across the object's surface and scientists believe the variations are probably related to the diversity of textures in surface materials.

Lighter areas of the moon which appear in the image may retain the heat better than others, scientists explain.

Mimas is only around 250 miles across. It has a distinctive scar called the Herschel Crater, which has led to many comparisons with the 'Death Star' from the Star Wars movies.

The Cassini team says the creation of the crater itself may have played a key role in the changing conditions across vast swathes of the moon's surface.

The project is a joint venture between the Nasa, the European Space Agency and the Italian Space Agency.

Its mission was recently extended until 2017.

Saturn has 62 moons with confirmed orbits. The largest is Titan, which is larger than the planet Mercury.

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