Big Pic: Jupiter Gets An Eye In Its Storm

What could darken so much of an 80 million-square-mile storm?

When the Hubble Telescope snapped this true-color image in April, NASA scientists found Jupiter staring right back at them. That black dot is Ganymede’s shadow, crossing Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, creating an eerily blank-looking eye. It is almost certainly the eye of a large and emotionally stunted monster.

The shadows of Jupiter’s four major moons–Ganymede, Io, Europa, and Callisto–often cross its surface, the Hubble team reports. So this image is actually not so rare, just well-aligned. Ganymede is the solar system’s largest moon, so its shadow is especially impressive.

For another example of unintentionally spooky stuff in space, check out this image of the sun that NASA captured earlier this month.

True-Color Jupiter, April 21, 2014

The shadow of the Jovian moon Ganymede as it sweeps across Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.