NASA captures cosmic 'dolphin' swimming in Jupiter's clouds

So long and thanks for all the fish.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser

Can you spot the dolphin-like shape?

NASA/SwRI/MSSS/Brian Swift/Seán Doran

We've seen some unlikely marine-inspired shapes out there in space, like a fishy rock on Mars and a pair of galaxies that look like a penguin with an egg. Now we can add a Jupiter dolphin to the list.

NASA's Juno spacecraft is busy studying and imaging the gas giant planet, and  NASA makes Juno's raw images available to the public. Visual artist and citizen scientist Seán Doran is well known for his work in processing those images into vivid visual feasts. 

Doran teamed with fellow image processor Brian Swift to enhance a series of recent Juno views. The pictures feature a dolphin-like formation swimming among Jupiter's swirling clouds. Doran posted four shots showing the shape to Twitter this week.

In case you're having a little trouble spotting the porpoise, look for the brown figure that seems to sport some fins.

Enlarge Image

The "dolphin" swims in Jupiter's skies.

NASA/SwRI/MSSS/Brian Swift/Seán Doran/Red circle by Amanda Kooser/CNET

While one Twitter follower suggested it looks more like a killer whale, Doran, who spotted it first, insists it's a dolphin. This might explain where the dolphins from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series went when they left Earth.

Doran also brought us a haunting series of images and videos showing what it would look like if Mars had water, as well as plenty more Juno views, including this tumultuous beauty.

Jaw-dropping Jupiter: NASA's Juno mission eyes the gas giant

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