Just in time for Halloween! NASA’s Juno probe finds an ominous ‘face’ on Jupiter

  • The terrifying image was taken during the Juno probe’s 54th close flyby of Jupiter
  • NASA said it will release it on Picasso’s 142nd birthday

With Halloween fast approaching, NASA has joined the spooktacular spooks by releasing a new image of a sinister-looking ‘face’ on Jupiter.

The image was taken by the US space agency’s Juno spacecraft during its 54th flyby last month.

It captures Jupiter’s moody clouds, creating an unusual shape that creates the appearance of distorted eyes, nose and mouth.

Half of the film is in darkness on the night side of the planet, which NASA said adds to the creepiness because it looks like it’s peeking out from behind a door.

‘Just in time for Halloween, NASA’s Juno mission spotted a strange “face” on Jupiter,’ the space agency added.

Creepy: With Halloween fast approaching, NASA has joined the spooky shenanigans by releasing a new image of a sinister-looking ‘face’ on Jupiter.
It captures Jupiter’s moody clouds, creating an unusual shape that creates the appearance of distorted eyes, nose and mouth.

Jupiter: Basics

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in our solar system.

It is a large ball of gas composed mostly of hydrogen and helium, with few heavier elements.

‘Jupiter’s familiar lines and swirls are actually cooler, with air clouds of ammonia and water, hydrogen and helium floating in the atmosphere,’ NASA said.

‘Jupiter’s iconic Great Red Spot is a giant storm larger than Earth that has been raging for hundreds of years.’

This planet is twice as big as all the other planets, and the Great Red Spot alone is big enough to fit the entire Earth.

A spacecraft – NASA’s Juno Orbiter – is currently exploring this giant world.

Opinion and statistics

distance from the sun: 750 million km

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orbital period: 12 years

surface: 61.42 billion km²

Radius: 69,911 km

Mass: 1.898 × ​​10^27 kg (317.8 M⊕)

Length of day: 0d 9h 56m

moons: 53 with formal designations; Countless additional moonlights

This is not the first time Juno has produced such a film.

Jupiter’s clouds hover above the largest planet in our solar system and the views it receives often lead to what is known as the Pareidolia phenomenon.

This is where the human brain tries to interpret what the eyes see and therefore creates a meaning that is not real.

An example is seeing faces in mostly random patterns.

Citizen scientist Vladimir Tarasov spotted these particular pesky ‘facial features’ after observing unusual patterns in Jupiter’s storm clouds.

Elliptical dark eyes framed by clouds, browbones and a wrinkled nose, complete with nostrils and a sad smile.

NASA said it resembled a cubist portrait, ‘multiple views of a single face’.

The space agency released the image on October 25 Picasso’s 142nd birthday.

Tarasov created the image using raw data from the spacecraft’s Junocam instrument.

It captures the gas giant’s turbulent clouds and storms along its terminator — the dividing line between the planet’s day and night sides.

At the time the original image was taken, the Juno probe was about 4,800 miles (about 7,700 km) above Jupiter’s cloud tops.

Its mission is to study Jupiter’s composition, while assessing its polar magnetosphere, gravity field, and magnetic field.

In addition, Juno is monitoring the gas giant’s turbulent atmosphere, its weather, and the features of the planet’s moons.

Orbiter: This is not the first time NASA’s spacecraft Juno (pictured in an artist’s rendering) has produced such an image. Jupiter’s clouds hover above the largest planet in our solar system and the views it receives often lead to what is known as the Pareidolia phenomenon.

Its mission was originally scheduled to end in July 2021, only to be extended until September 2025 — or the end of the spacecraft’s life, whichever comes first.

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After a five-year, 1.8 billion mile (2.8 billion km) journey from Earth, Juno reached Jupiter on July 4, 2016.

Following a successful braking maneuver, it flew 3,100 miles (5,000 km) above the planet’s swirling cloud tops and entered a long polar orbit.

No spacecraft had ever orbited so close to Jupiter before, but two other spacecraft had been sent through its atmosphere to their doom.

Once Juno’s mission is complete, the probe will be guided into the gas giant’s atmosphere until it disintegrates.

But until then, the hope is that we can make films as weird and wonderful as this one.

How NASA’s Juno Probe to Jupiter Will Reveal Secrets of the Solar System’s Largest Planet

The Juno probe reached Jupiter in 2016 after a five-year, 1.8-billion-mile journey from Earth.

The Juno probe reached Jupiter on July 4, 2016, after a five-year, 1.8 billion mile (2.8 billion km) journey from Earth.

Following a successful braking maneuver, it flew 3,100 miles (5,000 km) above the planet’s swirling cloud tops and entered a long polar orbit.

The probe passed every fortnight to within just 2,600 miles (4,200 km) of the planet’s clouds – too close to provide global coverage in a single image.

No previous spacecraft has ever orbited so close to Jupiter, although two spacecraft have been sent through its atmosphere to their doom.

Juno survived the orbit-frying radiation storm created by Jupiter’s powerful magnetic field to complete its dangerous mission.

A swirl of high-energy particles traveling at nearly the speed of light is the intense radiation environment in the solar system.

To cope with the conditions, the spacecraft was shielded with special radiation-hardened wiring and sensor shielding.

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Its all-important ‘brain’ – the spacecraft’s flight computer – was housed in an armored case made of titanium and weighed nearly 400 pounds (172 kg).

The spacecraft is expected to study the composition of the planet’s atmosphere until 2025.

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