NASA's spacecraft captured a creepy face in Jupiter's atmosphere. Photo
A space explorer has noticed an unusual pattern in the storm clouds on the largest planet in the Solar System, Jupiter, that looks like a bizarre face. The published photo gives the impression that the planet has a huge eerie face.
The discovery was made by amateur astronomer Vladimir Tarasov on the images of NASA's Juno spacecraft. The US space agency also noticed the bizarre face.
"Just in time for Halloween, NASA's Juno mission discovered a spooky 'face' on Jupiter," NASA said in a statement.
The image was taken on September 7, 2023, when Juno made its 54th close flyby of Jupiter. The photo shows an area in the northern region of the giant planet called Jet N7. The bizarre face in the image has distinct eyes, nose, and mouth.
In fact, the image shows turbulent clouds and storms along Jupiter's terminator, the line that separates the day and night sides of the planet. The special angle of incidence of sunlight also allows us to see the complex topography of objects in this region. Scientists are studying it to better understand the processes taking place in Jupiter's atmosphere.
Of course, Jupiter has no face, and what our eyes perceive as a face is simply a visual trick called pareidolia. It is an effect that causes observers to see faces or other patterns in largely random shapes.
Images of Jupiter often show the planet as if it were covered in smooth marble, although careful observers will see a mishmash of stormy clouds that have peaks and troughs that look somewhat like mountain ranges.
Due to their swirling and ever-changing appearance, Jupiter's clouds often create beautiful patterns and shapes, including strange faces.
At the time of the image acquisition, Juno was at an altitude of about 7,700 kilometers above Jupiter's cloud tops, at a latitude of about 69 degrees north.
Juno is a NASA space probe orbiting Jupiter. It was built by Lockheed Martin and operated by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The spacecraft was launched in August 2011.
Juno is studying Jupiter, its gravitational and magnetic fields, and the polar magnetosphere. It is also looking for clues about how the planet formed, including whether it has a rocky core.
This is the second spacecraft to orbit Jupiter after the Galileo nuclear orbiter, which orbited the planet from 1995 to 2003.
Earlier, OBOZ.UA told the story of the famous photo in which a face was found on Mars.