Is That Han Solo On The Surface Of Mercury? [Seriously, Look]

Dusten Carlson

He will not be permanently damaged.

So NASA picked up an interesting image while taking pictures of Mercury. A Mercury Dual Imaging System WAC (wide-angle camera) took a picture of what appears to be Han Solo frozen in carbonite on the surface of the planet closest to the sun.

The photo was taken in 2011, but just released to the public this week.

Of course, it's not actually a dude frozen on the surface of Mercury. What we're looking at is about 60 miles across, for one thing. But that hasn't stopped nerds at NASA from having a sense of humor about it.

"If there are two things you should remember, it's not to cross a Hutt, and that Mercury's surface can throw up all kinds of surprises," they write on the Mercury Messenger website. "In this image, a portion of the terrain surrounding the northern margin of the Caloris basin hosts an elevated block in the shape of a certain carbonite-encased smuggler who can make the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs."

Of course, the more science-y explanation for the phenomenon is as follows:

"This block may be part of the original surface that pre-dates the formation of Caloris, which was shaped by material ejected during the basin-forming event. The act of seeing a meaningful shape in random landforms is a form of pareidolia—and has been seen for Mercury more than a few times before."

Yup. Han Solo on Mercury is just another example of seeing what you want to see.