In an earlier article we now have confirmed you ways Saturn’s moon Mimas completely seems just like the Dying Star from the Star Wars films. Now it appears that evidently Mimas additionally seems like Pac-Man from the Eighties online game when seen in infrared.
The image above has been taken by the composite infrared spectrometer (CIRS) from the Cassini spacecraft, which is the results of the cooperation between NASA and ESA (the European House Company).
Because the graphic under explains it, usually the temperature distribution on any planet, moon or smaller physique ought to be distributed in round patterns, with the equatorial area going through the solar being the most well liked and the farther we get from that area, the colder it ought to get. Nevertheless with Mimas the warmth map is nothing prefer it ought to be! A Pac-Man formed area of the moon is far hotter than the remainder, apart from some minor warmth spots similar to the Hershel crater (the one which makes Mimas seem like the Dying Star).
It nonetheless stays a thriller why Mimas seems so odd in infrared, nonetheless it’s suspected that the massive Hershel crater in addition to the distinction between the sunshine and darkish hemispheres of this moon may have one thing to do with it.
The distinction in texture and albedo between the 2 hemispheres may clarify a few of the hotter areas, however not why it has this bizarre Pac-Man form with very sharp boundaries between the cold and warm areas. Nevertheless the minor warmth spots similar to the Hershel crater are a standard incidence, since large craters have been identified to entice some warmth inside.
Initially printed on Apr 3, 2010. Final up to date on Could 8, 2023.