Just in Time for Halloween, NASA’s Juno Mission Spots Eerie “Face” on Jupiter
On Sept. 7, 2023, during its 54th close flyby of Jupiter, NASA’s Juno mission captured this view of an area in the giant planet’s far northern regions called Jet N7. The image shows turbulent clouds and storms along Jupiter’s terminator, the dividing line between the day and night sides of the planet. The low angle of sunlight highlights the complex topography of features in this region, which scientists have studied to better understand the processes playing out in Jupiter’s atmosphere.
As often occurs in views from Juno, Jupiter’s clouds in this picture lend themselves to pareidolia, the effect that causes observers to perceive faces or other patterns in largely random patterns.
Citizen scientist Vladimir Tarasov made this image using raw data from the JunoCam instrument. At the time the raw image was taken, the Juno spacecraft was about 4,800 miles (about 7,700 kilometers) above Jupiter’s cloud tops, at a latitude of about 69 degrees north.
JunoCam's raw images are available for the public to peruse and process into image products at https://missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam/processing. More information about NASA citizen science can be found at https://science.nasa.gov/citizenscience.
More information about Juno is at https://www.nasa.gov/juno and https://missionjuno.swri.edu. For more about this finding and other science results, see https://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/science-findings.
Image data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS
Image processing by Vladimir Tarasov © CC BY