Astronomers may keep a close watch on Jupiter, and the fifth planet from the sun seems to be returning the favor. At least, that’s what it looks like from this new photograph showing Jupiter with a giant "eye" on its surface:
The photo was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope on April 21 as astronomers monitored changes in Jupiter’s Great Red Spot, an immense and ongoing cyclone on the planet's surface.
According to NASA, the “eye” in the picture is really the shadow of the Jovian moon Ganymede, which happened to cast a shadow directly on the center of the storm.
The space agency said in a written statement:
“Hubble treats astronomers to gorgeous close-up views of the eerie outer planets. But it's a bit of a trick when it seems like the planet's looking back at you...[Ganymede’s shadow] gave the giant planet the uncanny appearance of having a pupil in the center of a 10,000-mile-diameter ‘eye.’”
Talk about the eye of the storm!