Mimas Moon PHOTOS: NASA Spacecraft Sees 'Pac-Man' On Saturn Moon
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NASA's Cassini spacecraft has captured the highest-resolution-to-date temperature map and images of Mimas, one of Saturn's moons.
The portrait of the planet is striking: a map of Mimas' temperatures reveals a well-defined shape that can only be likened to '"Pac-Man" eating a dot,' writes NASA. (See image below)
NASA says the results of the temperature map were surprising:
Scientists working with the composite infrared spectrometer, which mapped Mimas' temperatures, expected smoothly varying temperatures peaking in the early afternoon near the equator. Instead, the warmest region was in the morning, along one edge of the moon's disk, making a sharply defined Pac-Man shape, with temperatures around 92 Kelvin (minus 294 degrees Fahrenheit). The rest of the moon was much colder, around 77 Kelvin (minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit). A smaller warm spot -- the dot in Pac-Man's mouth -- showed up around Herschel, with a temperature around 84 Kelvin (minus 310 degrees Fahrenheit).
The Mimas image on the right-hand side of the figure below shows the Pac-Man-like temperature map. The image on the left-hand side shows Mimas in visible light and has 'has drawn comparisons to the "Star Wars" Death Star,' according to NASA.
Check out more pictures from space, including gorgeous photos of mars, stars, earth as seen from space, and stunning images from NASA's sky-mapping spacecraft, WISE.