Why Are There Mysterious Pac-Men on Saturn's Moons?

Illustration for article titled Why Are There Mysterious Pac-Men on Saturn's Moons?

After discovering Pac-Man on the Death Staraka Mimas—NASA has discovered a new Pac-Man in Tethys. And they still don't know why the hell this shape appears, but they have a theory:

Scientists theorize that the Pac-Man thermal shape on the Saturnian moons occurs because high-energy electrons bombard low latitudes on the side of the moon that faces forward as it orbits around Saturn, turning a fluffy surface into hard-packed ice. As a result, the altered surface does not heat as rapidly in the sunshine or cool down as quickly at night as the rest of the surface, similar to how a boardwalk at the beach feels cooler during the day but warmer at night than the nearby sand.

The most surprising thing about the Tethys Pac-Man is that it also appears on visible-light images, not only thermal analysis. I can't wait till the discover Mario jumping on Titan. [NASA]

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DISCUSSION

droscoe
Dave Roscoe

These types of features are showing up on nearly all moons in our solar system. Plasma Cosmology says that these hot spots are the connection points for invisible Birkeland currents which connect all bodies in our solar system with our Sun, as well as our Sun to the rest of the galaxy.