Friday, 27 January 2017 - 14:01
Death Star from the Star Wars movie compared to Saturn’s moon



NASA released an image this week of Saturn’s icy moon Tethys. This resulted with a Twitter verse response comparing the heavenly body to the Death Star from “Star Wars”, according to Foreign News sources.

The moon is just one of many satellites that orbit the ringed gas giant.  Based on NASA reports, the image has been taken late last year by the Cassini spacecraft. The probe has been traveling the solar system for almost 20 years.

Scott Edgington, the deputy project scientist for the Cassini mission to Saturn, says that it is highly unlikely George Lucas found the inspiration to create the Death Star after seeing the similarity of Tethys.

“We first saw that moon up close and personal with the Voyager flybys,” he went on to reveal. “Those took place well after the release of the Star Wars movie.”

He went on to add that he wasn’t surprised people found the likeness nostalgic. Edgington himself has watched "Star Wars" and other Sci-Fi movies during his childhood with much interest. His passion in science fiction ultimately inspired him to become a scientist.

When questioned about the Tethy’s similarity to the Death Star, Edgington said “It invoked thoughts of my childhood, because obviously you see that and you go ‘wow, here’s this moon which looks like something from a movie that I grew up with’.”

He went on to say that the crater seen on the surface of the moon was created by an impact. He explained that the surface of Tethys is covered with many other craters, but the Odysseus crater stands out.

The Cassini spacecraft is winding down its mission after traveling for nearly 20 years in space. A planned descent into the atmosphere of Saturn will take place later this year after a series of orbits around the gas giant, Edgington said.

Plans are underway to begin the last phase of the mission in April according to Edgington. He further said that they will have literally 22 orbits that will take the spacecraft in between the planet and the rings.

The renowned space scientist added that spacecraft like Cassini have expanded our understanding of the solar system and the search for life outside of Earth. He remains inspired and fascinated by images of planets and moons beamed back from outer space.

But when questioned on the million dollar question, “Death Star or eyeball?” his concluding remarks with a laugh was “I think it looks like a Death Star”.


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