back to article That's no – actually it is: DEATH STAR MOON 'could be full of life-friendly water'

Mimas has long been thought to be one of the less noteworthy moons of its vast ringed primary, Saturn – apart from its frankly worrying resemblance to the Death Star, that is. But now, a new study indicates that the humdrum space boulder could have, er, hidden depths. Mimas Actually, that is a moon. Not a space station A …

  1. LaeMing

    That's nothing. Outgassing. Don't worry about it.

  2. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    The third possibility is that Mimas actually a Death Star (albeit an old battered one)

  3. KrisMac

    The fourth possibility??

    ...residual vibration from whatever smacked the planet hard enough to leave the 'Death Star' crater... (heavy bits of which might still be embedded under the surface)

  4. Neoc

    Boffins have found Minas wobbles. Maybe it got drunk after taking one too many librations at lunch.

  5. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Time to shake up the tinfoil hat brigade..

    Pick one or two or mix and match....

    1) It is a fully operational battle station... the crew is in suspended animation.

    2) It was left here to keep an eye on us. We're all descendants of the Ewoks.

    3) Lucas had inside information to not piss off it's builders.

    4) Those aren't craters. They're impacts from X-Wing Fighters.

    5) Once we discover FTL travel, it will become active.

    6) Earth is actually Wookie for Alderaan.

    7) It really wasn't a long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away.

    I'll go quietly now. Mine's the 67 long that has leather straps and the shiny hat in the pocket.

    1. Rogue Jedi

      Re: Time to shake up the tinfoil hat brigade..


      life here began out there, far across the Universe, with tribes of humans, who may have been the ancestors of the Egyptians, or the Mayans, or the Aztecs

      Star Wars is actually a dramatization based on some "Historical Documents" (think Galaxy Quest) found by George Lucas

      a long time ago, after the destruction of the First Death Star Emperor Palpetine may have sent techs to a Galaxy far away to build a Death Star safe from the interruption by the Rebellion

      the techs decided not to take the newly completed Death Star back to their home galaxy, so parked it in orbit of a planet near to a world where they settled

      we are the descendants of the Death Star builders

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Time to shake up the tinfoil hat brigade..

      It's a forgotten Cyborg-Warrior Half-God, who got a serious thrashing by something more powerful about 65 million years ago. Since then, the self-repair nano-machinery has been working hard on restructuring the crushed internals of its body to something similar to its former glory.

      The personality matrix is just about to fully awaken, the sub-sentient levels have a really nasty headache and is looking to try out the effector suite at full power on a living target.

  6. Rustident Spaceniak

    Minas - wasn't that the one that looks like Pacman in infrared?

    This one really seems to hold mre than meets the eye.


    Is it an egg?

    Yes, I know the new Dr Who is terrible, but at least it's relevant to current events.

  8. Zog_but_not_the_first


    ... a gigantic cosmic water bomb! Devised by Loki, perhaps. Whose head is getting soaked by this one?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's...

      "I was born in a water moon. Some people, especially its inhabitants, called it a planet, but as it was only a little over two hundred kilometres in diameter ‘moon’ seems the more accurate term. The moon was made entirely of water, by which I mean it was a globe that not only had no land, but no rock either, a sphere with no solid core at all, just liquid water, all the way down to the very centre of the globe...."

      If you know, you know. And if you don't you need to find the book and read it.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: It's...

        Yes I know but doesn't water under very high pressure become a solid?

  9. Scott Broukell


    It's just nervous about being on camera, happens to the best of us. I mean what's it all about, you spend billions of years treading the same path around this giant planet without very much to write home about and then all of a sudden up pops some shinny little box-of-tricks out of nowhere and starts filming you and all that.

  10. Peter Ford

    Even if we do go there...

    ... the prospect of drilling a 25km deep hole on a moon just to find out if there's water down there seems a bit remote. Have we even drilled 25km deep on Earh yet?

    1. mark 63 Silver badge

      Re: Even if we do go there...

      yeah but by the time you got there you'd really need a drink!

    2. cray74

      Re: Even if we do go there...

      Only half way to 25km. At the Kola Superdeep bore site, bore SG-3 made it 12,262 meters. Since then, some commercial oil drilling has gotten nearly that deep in a short amount of time, about 40 days.

      Drilling on Mimas would have the advantage of drilling through ice rather than rock. Even super-cold water ice responds charmingly to a bit of heating. Drilling on Mimas would have the disadvantage of drilling at the far end of a severe logistics choke point: a billion miles of space travel. Getting 1,000 tons of drilling hardware and supplies to a mining site is a modest logistics exercise on Earth, but you'll be lucky to get 10 tons to Mimas after a years of travel.

      1. PhilBuk

        Re: Even if we do go there...

        No Problem, Bruce Willis has some lightweight drilling kit and a highly trained team of actors.


  11. David Harper 1

    Please try to get the facts right

    "The team used data from Cassini to build a 3D model of the moon's orbit and found it wobbles twice as much as it ought."

    Not its orbit. They built a 3D model of Mimas itself, using surface features as landmarks. Then they used those landmarks to track subtle changes in the satellite's rotation.

    I'd expect this kind of sloppy reporting in a tabloid, but the Register really should aim for a higher standard of scientific accuracy.

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      Re: Please try to get the facts right

      @ David Harper

      I think it is the orbit, but it's not very clearly explained.

      If you follow the link to the statement by Radwan Tajeddine he says that surface points moved 6km, when they expected only a 3km movement. This can't be surface movement (bulging) since a 6km bulge would leave the surface with large cracks. So I think he means that the point on the surface was 6km further ahead (or behind) its expected position /in orbit/, due to the wobbling.

      So it's a 3D model of the surface but which also models the orbital position of the surface points. As I said - not very well explained. I've chosen the boffin icon accordingly. :-)

      1. David Harper 1

        Re: Please try to get the facts right

        It's not the orbit. I've read the original paper in Science, and this is the area in which I got my Ph.D. Trust me, it's not the orbit. It's the rotation.

        1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

          Re: Please try to get the facts right

          Thanks that makes more sense. I was totally lost on how water could effect the orbit this way.

          I'm still totally lost on how water could effect the rotation this way is subterranean. I'd expect some serous surface observations of something happening (outgassing?) is there was that much water moving around down there.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ...and then the child opens the gift and her new kitten vomits all over her.

  13. MarkTheMorose

    Off-world drilling?

    Calling Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Owen Wilson...

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