“Ravioli, pierogi, empanada…what do you see?” NASA said on its Instagram page.
NASA spacecraft delivers asteroid samples to Earth
A NASA spacecraft containing samples from a nearby asteroid has returned to Earth after a seven-year mission.
Damian Henderson, Associated Press
It’s been six years since the closest images of Saturn’s innermost moon were taken, but last week may have been the first time many saw images of the strange-looking celestial body when NASA shared them on Instagram.
Many couldn’t help but notice the similarity between the moon known as Pan and some well-known food dishes.
“Ravioli, pierogi, empanada…what do you see?” NASA she said on her Instagram page In a post accompanied by two photos depicting different angles of the moon. “There are no wrong answers.”
Many commenters agreed that paan does indeed resemble one of these three foods, but others were more creative with their interpretation.
“It’s a Koopa shell,” one user said, referring to the turtle-like character race from the Super Mario series.
Another commented: “Spaghetti with crushed cream.”
the pictures Taken in 2017 This was during the Cassini spacecraft’s closest encounter yet with Pan, “resulting in an improved level of detail seen on the young moon from previous observations,” NASA said on Instagram.
Queen guitarist helps NASA: How Brian May helped NASA return the first asteroid sample to Earth
The closest images were taken in 2017 after Pan’s discovery in 1990
The two images shared by NASA show how Cassini The perspective changed when it passed within 15,300 miles of Pan on March 7, 2017.
The views show the northern and southern hemispheres of Pan on its back side, the side opposite the direction the Moon moves as it orbits Saturn.
The distinctive-looking moon was first photographed in 1981 by Voyager 2, but Mark R. Showalter, a senior research scientist at the SETI Institute, analyzed old probe images and officially discovered the celestial body back in 1990. According to NASA.
Space flight log: Astronaut Frank Rubio spent a record 371 days in space. The trip was scheduled to last 6 months
How do scientists explain Pan’s unique shape?
frying panlike Saturn’s other moon Atlas, has a prominent ridge along its equator giving it a distinctive flying saucer shape that others have also compared to a walnut.
The thin ridges around Pan’s equator are thought to have come about after the Moon formed.
Cassini imagers believe the pan formed within Saturn’s rings, with ring material accumulating on it and forming the circular shape of its central mass. Scientists believe that Pan has a core of icy material that is denser than the softer mantle around it.
Because of Pan’s weak gravity, the toroidal material settled on it and continued to accrete instead of flattening out as it does on larger objects, according to NASA.
NASA report on unidentified flying objects: How NASA hopes to turn UFO conversations ‘from excitement to science’
How did Pan get his name?
Saturn’s moons were originally named after the Greco-Roman giants and descendants of the giants.
But Saturn has 146 moonsScholars eventually had to start selecting names from more myths. The Greek god of nature and the forest known as Pan is a satyr, a man-like creature with the hind legs and hooves of a goat.
Eric Lagata covers breaking and trending news for USA TODAY. Contact him at [email protected]
“Infuriatingly humble alcohol fanatic. Unapologetic beer practitioner. Analyst.”