NASA view of Jupiter looks like an infamous South Park character

This processed image of Jupiter comes from NASA’s Juno’s spacecraft with some enhancement work by Kevin Gill.


NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin M. Gill

When you stare into the swirling clouds and storms of Jupiter, what do you see? Perhaps a dolphin. Or Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo from the animated show South Park. 

We have NASA software engineer Kevin Gill to thank for a newly enhanced view of Jupiter as seen by the Juno spacecraft. 

Gill pointed out the resemblance of a brown formation among the clouds to Mr. Hankey, an anthropomorphic piece of excrement that starred in a Christmas-themed episode during South Park’s first season. 

Gill shared the image on Twitter and Flickr on Sunday.

Mr. Hankey became a pop-culture phenomenon after his debut in 1997, inspiring plush toys and tree ornaments. Now he’s been accidentally commemorated in a random atmospheric formation on Jupiter.

Juno, which has been in orbit around the gas giant since mid-2016, captured the original look during its Perijove 15 flyby in September 2018. 

Gill’s work really makes the colors pop out. If you put your ear up near the screen, you can almost hear Mr. Hankey saying, “Howdy-ho!”

Best of all, this really brings new meaning to Jupiter’s status as a gas giant.

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