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Fraser
2005-Aug-04, 06:10 PM
SUMMARY: NASA's Cassini spacecraft made a relatively close flyby of Saturn's moon Mimas on August 2nd, 2005. The 130 km (80 mile) crater Herschel makes the moon look amazingly similar to the Death Star from the Star Wars series of movies. Cassini passed only 62,700 km (38,800 miles) above Mimas; the closest it's ever been to the moon.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/cassini_flies_death_star_moon.html)

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

piersdad
2005-Aug-04, 06:29 PM
The Herschel crater is the moon's most prominent feature, and the impact that formed it probably nearly destroyed Mimas

the hit apears to have hit dead centre ad had it hit a slightly off centre then it could have scattered the moon all around the rings

cran
2005-Aug-04, 11:26 PM
Yes, indeed...
I wondered whether George Lucas was inspired by the Voyager image(s?) of Mimas when they designed the Death Star... "that's no moon!..." "I got a bad feeling about this..."

That is quite an impact crater! Has anyone seen an image of the opposite hemisphere?

There should be some preservation of the impact waves - eg, a roughly circular plateau with some interesting radial and annular features...

dave_f
2005-Aug-05, 03:41 AM
Originally posted by cran@Aug 4 2005, 06:26 PM

I recently wondered whether George Lucas was inspired by the Voyager image(s?) of Mimas when they designed the Death Star... "that's no moon!..." "I got a bad feeling about this..."

That is quite an impact crater! Has anyone seen an image of the opposite hemisphere?

There should be some preservation of the impact waves - eg, a roughly circular plateau with some interesting radial and annular features...
I've kinda wondered if art imitated life or if life imitated art in this example. I've thought about it as an amazing coincidence myself, but sometimes I do wonder ;).

You've got an excellent point about the opposite side of the moon. There ought to be some interesting mountain ranges on the other side of that hole. B)

jasohill
2005-Aug-05, 04:47 AM
That's no space station. It's a moon!

cran
2005-Aug-05, 05:18 AM
Understood, jasohill, and welcome to UT!

Yes, Mimas is a moon, and a rather stunning record of accretionary processes; and there are plenty more where that one came from!
:D

dave_f, hi; are you hanging out for an online detailed hi-res atlas of the solar system, too? I'm having trouble with my image library keeping them all sorted out - so many moons...so many geological features...so little time and hard drive!

:blink:

dave_f
2005-Aug-05, 08:08 AM
Originally posted by cran@Aug 5 2005, 12:18 AM
dave_f, hi; are you hanging out for an online detailed hi-res atlas of the solar system, too? I'm having trouble with my image library keeping them all sorted out - so many moons...so many geological features...so little time and hard drive!
You betchya! :lol:

I haven''t been keeping a personal "atlas" of the solar system myself, but that's definitely a cool idea. The Sun, planets, asteroids, and more recently comets too have been cool to watch. I would like to see more, for sure. You can't have enough close-up images of the extra-planetary stuff.

B)

suitti
2005-Aug-05, 02:23 PM
Mercury has a big crater with antipodal evidence.

Duane
2005-Aug-05, 04:36 PM
Lucas came up with the Death Star before the first pictures of Mimas came from Voyager.

As I recall there are some pictures of the backside of Mimas, and yes there is jumbled terrain.

cran
2005-Aug-06, 01:56 AM
Originally posted by suitti@Aug 5 2005, 10:23 PM
Mercury has a big crater with antipodal evidence.
Yes, it does - in fact, I had that Mercury image mixed up with the outer satellite images in my library for a while, because they looked similar :blink:


Lucas came up with the Death Star before the first pictures of Mimas came from Voyager.
Duane, I'll take your word for it...life imitates art - perhaps we should rename Mimas - call it 'Lucas' after the one who imagined such an object....
just messin' witcha :D

As I recall there are some pictures of the backside of Mimas, and yes there is jumbled terrain.
I'd be surprised if there wasn't - and I'm glad if we have a record of it.

Back on track (BOT?)
the hit apears to have hit dead centre ad had it hit a slightly off centre then it could have scattered the moon all around the rings
perhaps, piersdad, but there are a few variables: composition of target and impactor, impact velocity, etc.

There is a Uranian moon (once again, names escape me) that looks like a 3D mosaic of different objects - it appears that one was 'smashed to bits' and then re-coalesced.

There was also the thought that Saturn's rings might be the remains of a moon(s) that was(were) smashed to bits; even though most of the rings lie within the Roche(?) Limit for satellite formation (assuming similar chemistries).

But, there may be a chance that part of Mimas is now one of the shepherd moons or other little moonlets playing in the rings, and that Herschel Crater is that little guy's original home...

Nereid
2005-Aug-10, 12:46 AM
There is a Uranian moon (once again, names escape me) that looks like a 3D mosaic of different objects - it appears that one was 'smashed to bits' and then re-coalesced.Miranda (http://www.solarviews.com/eng/miranda.htm) (warning - this page has popups).

cran
2005-Aug-10, 05:48 AM
thank you Miranda... :unsure: I mean, thank you Nereid :D

Miranda....Miranda....I knew that :blink: :)