Two 'Pac-Man Moons' Orbit Saturn; Blinky Nowhere To Be Seen

Humans have long talked about the mythical "man in the moon."

It doesn't exist, but Saturn has two moons that both look like the 1980s-era videogame icon Pac-Man.

Back in 2010, the craft also took photos of another Saturn moon, Mimas, and scientists discovered that, it too, looked like Pac-Man when seen through a an infrared spectrometer.

Although Pac-Man enemies Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde were nowhere to be found, NASA scientist Carly Howett believes the circumstances that create these peculiarly pop culture-shaped heat tattoos may be more common than originally expected.

"Finding a second Pac-Man in the Saturn system tells us that the processes creating these Pac-Men are more widespread than previously thought," Howett said, according to TG Daily. "The Saturn system — and even the Jupiter system — could turn out to be a veritable arcade of these characters."

How did Pac-Man leave the arcade and show up on two of Saturn's moons?

Scientists credit high-energy electrons bombarding low latitudes on the side of the moon that's facing forward as it orbits around Saturn. That turns that part of the surface into hard-packed ice that doesn't heat as rapidly in the sunshine or cool down as quickly at night, according to

Both Tethys and Mimas may have Pac-Man-shaped heat tattoos, but there are subtle differences according to the Register newspaper, which says Tethys' pattern, unlike Mimas', can be seen in visible light as a dark region.



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