If you thought the "Happy Birthday David" short was an ingenious bit of marketing for Ridley Scott's upcoming Prometheus, wait til you see this.
Apparently, unbeknownst to moviegoers down here on earth, 20th Century Fox has hired one of the 62 moons orbiting Saturn to shill for their big summer release. The film company knew we'd wind up watching, through our computers and the high-powered lenses of NASA's Cassini Probe. (One of our very favorite space probes.) As the BBC reports:
"The F-ring is the outermost of Saturn's main rings. It is located 3,000km beyond the bright A-ring and has a circumference approaching 900,000km. The Cassini imaging team had been watching the 40km-wide Prometheus moon dance along the edge of this ring for some time."
A little dance! Like Justin Timberlake does for Omeletteville in those "Saturday Night Live" skits. The most amazing part, though, is the small, Kilometer-wide clumps of ice that the spokesmoon's gravitational perturbations dislodge from the F-ring. They're like giant snowballs, and as they fly around and blast back through the ring, they produce eye-catching trails, "rogue jets" of space gas, or "advertising gold."
How much did they have to pay for that?! I thought it was impressive when Nike shelled out for the Beatles' "Revolution" in the '80s, or when McDonald's got our own moon to sing "Mac the Knife."
Those were quaint, innocent days. Now that we know that 20th Century Fox has the budget clout to get celestial bodies 1216 billion kilometers away to sell out, it's a whole new galaxy.