‘Cookie Monster’ Crater Spotted On Mercury By NASA Probe [Photo]

NASA has spotted a Cookie Monster crater, making it clear that the beloved Sesame Street character is doubling as an impact crater on Mercury, perhaps marking the first time a muppet from the popular children’s show has been spotted in outer space (besides the movie, that is).

NASA’s Messenger mission has been exploring Mercury and scientists from the mission released a photo that they acquired on August 29, 2012, showing a crater that bears a striking resemblance to the treat-loving monster, reports Space.com.

The photo of the Cookie Monster crater was posted to the Flickr page of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland on Friday, along with the caption, “Anyone Else Think This Looks Like the Cookie Monster?”

The muppet-shaped crater is a giant circle that was created when a space rock impacted the planet a long time ago. Two smaller craters dot the upper edge of the crater, effectively creating the famous eyeballs on Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster. These craters were created when smaller asteroids impacted Mercury after the bigger strike.

Business Insider notes that, along with their caption on Flickr, NASA wrote of the Cooke Monster crater:

“Ok, so maybe it’s just me. But the superposition of younger craters on older craters (in this case two smaller craters upon the rim of an older crater) can result in landforms that appear to resemble more familiar shapes to human eyes. More generally, the Law of Superposition allows scientists to determine which surface features pre- and postdate others, leading to a better understanding of the geological history of different regions of Mercury’s surface.”

Sesame Street responded to NASA’s question on their Tumblr account, saying:

“Now that we think about it, maybe Mercury is Cookie Monster, or his distant cousin maybe (?), and it’s circling the Sun in hopes of om nom noming some space cookies or something.

“Okay, maybe not.

“Anyway NASA, thanks for thinking of us.”

The Messenger probe was launched in 2004 and became the first spacecraft to orbit around Mercury in March of last year. Along with the Cookie Monster crater, Messenger spotted Mickey Mouse on Mercury in June.

What do you think? Did NASA spot the Cookie Monster in a crater on Mars?

Cookie Monster Crater

[Image from NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington, Flickr]