Scientists from the NASA Cassini mission discovered two ‘Pac-men’ on Saturn’s moons Mimas and Tethys. Dubbed Pac man because of it resemblance to the video game craze of the 1980s; the reality of these Pacmen is that they are created due to temperature variation across the surface of the moons and can be seen via thermal imagery.
The temperature variation is caused by a difference in surface texture. High energy electrons bombard one side of the moon, compacting the ice, making it slower to heat up. Oh, and when I say heat up, to put ‘heat’ into perspective, we’re talking about solar tropical temperatures of about 65 to 95 Kelvin (-208°C to -178°C).
But back to the star of this cartoon – Pacman – I just loved this game as a child and would waste my pocket money at the local games parlour (actually, it was in a fish and chip shop) trying to out smart the goggle eyed ghosts. I even bought a ‘how to win pacman’ book. I thinks that’s the closest I’ve been to being a game nerd.
Any other gamers daring to share their gaming secrets? Don’t worry, it’s a nice safe environment, here in cyber space, to share this kind of information.
PS. To view Cassini’s journey so far, visit Cassini: 15 years of exploration.
I loved drawing this cartoon. Nothing like aliens, stars and planets.