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Spooky face on Jupiter just in time for Halloween

Usually known for its Great Red Spot, Jupiter is showing a face just in time for Halloween. (Image data: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS Image processing by Vladimir Tarasov © CC BY)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Usually known for its Great Red Spot, Jupiter shows a face just in time for Halloween.

NASA’s Juno mission captured this view of the planet’s northern region. The clouds form what looks like a frowning human face. Half of the image is in darkness, while the other half is on the planet’s night side. This makes it look like the face is coming from behind a door.

The image was made with raw data from a citizen scientist. The raw image was taken well above Jupiter’s cloud tops, about 4,800 miles.

You can see turbulent clouds and even storms along Jupiter’s terminator. The terminator is the dividing line between the planet’s day and night sides. Scientists are continuing to study this part of Jupiter to better understand the processes playing out in its atmosphere.

The stormy scene was showcased even more by the low sun angle and highlights the changing topography on the fifth planet of our solar system.

Jupiter’s clouds are demonstrating what’s called pareidolia. According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, pareidolia is “the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern.”

More raw images are available to the public and can be seen here.

This isn’t the first time during a spooky season we’ve seen these types of images. In the late 1990s, NASA posted images that appeared to look like there was a face on Mars.

The weather forecast on Earth is more of a trick than a treat. Chilly temperatures will stick around for Tuesday. A few light snow showers may be possible Tuesday afternoon and evening just as trick-or-treaters head out. Temperatures will be in the 30s with wind chill values or feel-like temperatures into the 20s.