Date: November 13, 2018
By: Jennifer Earl
Space enthusiasts have spotted what they claim is a mythical “creature” hidden in the swirls of Jupiter’s cloud system.
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory recently revealed a new, stunning image from its Juno spacecraft, which is currently circling the giant planet. The photo was snapped around 5 p.m. ET on Oct. 29 as the spacecraft made its 16th close flyby around Jupiter, according to a recent news release. At that time, Juno was just 4,400 miles from the floating clouds.
“A Dragon’s Eye? What do you see within the swirling clouds of Jupiter?” the NASA lab asked on Twitter.
The question prompted a flurry of responses — with many allowing their imaginations to wander.
“I see a Squid,” one Twitter user replied.
A Dragon’s Eye?
What do you see within the swirling clouds of Jupiter? https://t.co/TjIOUFJ2CC
📸: @NASAJuno pic.twitter.com/45RMgQ6d3u
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) November 9, 2018
“Quetzalcoatl!” another guessed, referring to an ancient term that translates to “feathered serpent” or “flying reptile.”
— ᶮᵉᵇᶸᶩᵒᶸᶴ⚒ (@MonkeyHeadNeb) November 9, 2018
“Dragon!!!” one man declared, outlining the picture with colors to form the face of the legendary creature.
— Astro Yuki 🌎🚀 (@AstroYuki) November 9, 2018
The colorful image from Juno’s camera was enhanced by scientists Gerald Eichstädt and Seán Dora.
“A multitude of magnificent, swirling clouds in Jupiter’s dynamic North North Temperate Belt is captured in this image from NASA’s Juno spacecraft. Appearing in the scene are several bright-white “pop-up” clouds as well as an anticyclonic storm, known as a white oval,” NASA explains in an online statement.
NASA’s Juno spacecraft was launched on Aug. 5, 2011, and arrived at Jupiter five years later — in July 2016. Juno’s mission is slated to come to a close in July 2021 after the spacecraft slowly orbits Jupiter, collecting important data along the way.
“Juno’s principal goal is to understand the origin and evolution of Jupiter. Underneath its dense cloud cover, Jupiter safeguards secrets to the fundamental processes and conditions that governed our solar system during its formation. As our primary example of a giant planet, Jupiter can also provide critical knowledge for understanding the planetary systems being discovered around other stars,” NASA describes on its website.
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