NASA image shows what looks like carbonite-encased Han Solo on Mercury

It looks like Han Solo is trapped in carbonite on the surface of Mercury in newly released NASA image.
By KRISTEN BUTLER,  |  Sept. 20, 2013 at 12:40 PM
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NASA has released an image that appears to show Han Solo trapped in carbonite on the surface of Mercury.

Taken by the Messenger probe in 2011, the newly released image shows a surface feature that looks vaguely like the outline of a human body -- except that it's miles across.

The clever folks working the Messenger mission noticed the resemblance right away:

"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. 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. 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 scientists are also sure to point out that the phenomenon of seeing recognizable shapes in random landforms is a form of pareidolia -- a common occurrence when gazing at planetary surfaces, as anyone who remembers the "Mars rat" knows.

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