May 18, 2009

This is not a fossilized Death Star. It is MIMAS!

Mimas is one of Saturn's smallest moons, but it bears an uncanny resemblance to the Death Stars from the Star Wars movies. It was discovered in 1789 by astronomer extraordinaire William Herschel. The above image was taken by the spacecraft Cassini in 2005. Cassini now orbits around Saturn, keeping an eye on that most beautiful of planets, and giving us humans a perfect position from which to study the rings, moons, and surface storms of Saturn.
The strange thing about Mimas is that it is composed of mostly water ice, with a very small amount of rock dispersed throughout it. It is essentially one giant dirty snowball, and from the looks of that gigantic crater, spanning about 130 kilometers in diameter, it was almost destroyed by a very powerful collision.
The more we look at our Solar System the more we find the weirdest inhabitants of it. There are moons with volcanic activity rivaling that of the very early Earth. There are moons with volcanoes of liquid methane. There are planets barely big enough to be called a planet, and there are rings around many of the solar system's outer planets, not just Saturn. There are conditions which defy all expectations. What a wonderful world science shows us. -FUPPETS- loves that shit.

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