jupiter with ganymede shadow.jpg

Image of the Day: What gave Jupiter this giant, freaky black ‘eye'?

Contributed by
Oct 29, 2014

While scoping out the swirling mass that is Jupiter, the Hubble Telescope snapped a shot that is truly frightening — because it looks like the planet is staring right back at us.

As you can see in the shot above, there’s a creepy black dot right in the middle of Jupiter's Great Red Spot, making it look like a planet-sized eyeball just waiting to blink. So what is it? Turns out the massive black mass was caused by one of Jupiter’s moons, Ganymede, as the shadow reflected back on the planet at just the right spot to freak us out.

According to Popular Science, the shadows of Jupiter's four major moons (Ganymede, Io, Europa and Callisto) pass by the surface fairly often, but what’s not so common is the Hubble Telescope getting a perfectly timed pic of the shadow dotting the eye of the storm. Ganymede is also Jupiter’s biggest moon, which explains why it was able to cast a shadow across the 80-million-square-mile storm. 

Check out the pic above; with a bit of tinkering, it could make a scary Halloween costume of galactic proportions.

(Via Popular Science)

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