Mar 28, 2010

That's No Moon - Oh, Wait A Minute...

It’s a simple shape, a sphere with a concave dish set in the surface. In 1977, the shape was forever linked to the movie Star Wars and is known as the Death Star. In the movie, it was a space station as large as a natural moon that housed the “ultimate weapon”, a planet-destroying laser. When Obi-Wan first set eyes on the Death Star, he remarked to Han Solo, "That's no moon - that's a space station." Had they been looking at Mimas, one of the inner moons of Saturn, the quote may have went a little differently. 

Mimas has an 80-mile-wide crater named Herschel, which looks like it could easily focus a superlaser. The uncanny resemblence is coincidental, as Star Wars was made several years before the first photographs of Mimas (with its crater) were taken.

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