Timely for Halloween, NASA's Juno Mission Spots Startling Horrifying 'Face' on Jupiter's Surface

Timely for Halloween, NASA's Juno Mission Spots Startling 'Face' on Jupiter's Surface

Storm clouds in the form of a face near the day-night terminator on Jupiter, captured by the Juno spacecraft. Photo: Image data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS, image processing by Vladimir Tarasov

All our beloved horror movie slashers possess their own distinct traits. Some are possessed dolls, while others are escaped mental patients with a deadly grudge to settle. However, despite their unique qualities, there's a common thread among all successful movie slashers: a disfigured, concealed, or otherworldly visage.

From Chucky and Freddy to Michael Myers and Leatherface, they all understand that a frightening countenance is often more terrifying than a menacing weapon.

NASA's Juno Mission Unveils Jupiter's "Halloween Mask"
Joining the interplanetary Halloween costume competition is a passing storm system in Jupiter's atmosphere. NASA's Juno spacecraft conducted Jupiter's spooky Halloween-themed photoshoot during its 54th flyby on September 7, 2023. Juno focused on an area called Jet N7, situated at a latitude of approximately 69 degrees north.

The image was captured from an altitude of roughly 4,800 miles (7,700 kilometers) above the planet's surface, just along the terminator –– the boundary between night and day. The low angle of sunlight in the region accentuated the storm system's features, making the face more discernible, as explained by NASA.

The face itself is a composition of various storm systems, each generating a swirling vortex, all converging into the unmistakable likeness of a somewhat distorted human face. Jupiter, renowned for its ever-changing gaseous surface, offers more opportunities to discover patterns than its solid siblings in the solar system.

Much like most features on Jupiter, the face at Jet N7 is transient and won't endure indefinitely. A revisit today would likely reveal a completely different set of features, or perhaps no face in the area at all. And there's nothing more disconcerting than encountering a horrifying face in the darkness only to return and find it vanished.

Fortunately, if you're in the mood for eerie faces, you can find them in abundance in Chucky, Halloween, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, all currently available for streaming on Peacock!

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