The distressed looking figure of Hans Solo frozen in carbonite is an iconic image from “Star Wars,” but it appears there’s a similar — albeit naturally occurring — image on Mercury as well.
“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,” NASA’s press release with the image stated.
Taken last year but released last week, the photo shows a human-like form in Mecury’s surface near the Caloris basin.
“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,” NASA stated. “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…”
The image was snapped by the MESSENGER spacecraft, which taken more than 150,000 images within its first two years. The spacecraft is expected to continue orbiting until 2015.