The so-called Death Star moon near Saturn may have Star Wars fans slightly upset because Kevin Costner’s Waterworld is sort of getting a mention in the same breath as George Lucas’ creations. But it turns out that the apparently dusty-looking Death Star moon may be hiding an actual water world underneath a thick shell of ice.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, it’s possible that Saturn’s Death Star moon may be harboring life in outer space.
Radwan Tajeddine, a planetary scientist at Cornell University, created a 3D model of Mimas and to their surprise they discovered the Death Star moon rotates with a pronounced wobble, which was unexpected for a spherical object thought to be dead, dry and boring.
“The data suggest that something is not right, so to speak, inside Mimas,” said Tajeddine in a NASA statement. “The amount of wobble we measured is double what was predicted.”
“We’re very excited about this measurement because it may indicate much about the satellite’s insides,” Tajeddine said in a statement. “Nature is essentially allowing us to do the same thing that a child does when she shakes a wrapped gift in hopes of figuring out what’s hidden inside.”
The pronounced wobble has created multiple competing theories. It’s possible the core of Mimas has an oblong frozen core, but the more tantalizing option is that there is a whole ocean hidden in its depths, with the liquid throwing off its rotation.
Not everyone is convinced that the Death Star moon is a water world. The theory that there is a hidden ocean doesn’t correspond to the other geological evidence according to Tajeddine. Even the oblong core idea is lacking since it does not jibe with the observed shape of Mimas. Another potential hypothesis is that some solar rebels tossed a comet at the Death Star moon, and the direct hit caused Mimas to develop its wobble.
Either way, Cassini is going to make a close pass by Saturn’s moon in 2016, and it’s possible the data may solve the mystery about what makes the Death Star moon wobble.