(Image Source: NASA)
BY GEORGE DUMONTIER
ANCHOR CHRISTINA HARTMAN
Pac-Man has been spotted orbiting Saturn. The Cassini science team took infrared pictures of one of Saturn’s moons and found that the temperatures on the surface look a lot like the ‘80s arcade character.
“Look it’s Pac-Man! Well not really but NASA spotted the shape on thermal data from Tethys, one of Saturn’s moons.”
This is actually the second time Pac-Man has been spotted around Saturn. A similar shape was found on another moon, Mimas (mee muss) in 2010. Discovery explains what causes this nostalgic shape.
“...the colder portions occur because the surface materials in certain areas -- low latitudes on that side of the moon that faces forward as it orbits the gas giant -- are more thermally conductive.”
Mike Flasar of NASA said these types of infrared studies help scientists gather important information …
“ … about the processes that shape planets and moons, … A result like this underscores just how powerful these observations are."
The first moon was expected to be a one-time fluke, but now that they have a second Pac-Man, this heating process could be more common than was previously thought. One Cassini team member said …
"The Saturn system - and even the Jupiter system - could turn out to be a veritable arcade of these characters."