See Earth Wear a Freaky Face in Striking Satellite Images

A swirling dance of moisture and dry air gave our planet a reason to smile.

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
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What's so funny, Earth? This satellite view shows water vapor imagery forming into what looks like a big grinning face on April 17, 2022.


Want to see our planet looking like a giant smiley-face emoji? Of course you do. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's GOES-West satellite has you covered. NOAA shared a GIF of satellite imagery that makes Earth look like it's wearing a wicked grin.

"This water vapor imagery from GOES-West caught our eye and made us smile," the NOAA satellites team tweeted on Tuesday, describing the sped-up, eight-hour loop from Sunday as a "smiling weather pattern."

The white and blue colors represent moisture, while the orange and red colors show drier air as it moved over Hawaii. GOES-West monitors weather, including storm and lightning activity.  

The grinning Earth has some good company with other space images of objects making faces. The sun looked like a jack-o'-lantern back in 2014 in a NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory image. The Hubble Space Telescope caught sight of a spooky, bug-eyed galaxy system. Mars has a crater known appropriately as Happy Face Crater

Our planet's grinning weather pattern was just a fun coincidence, and it's definitely not a sign clowns from outer space are coming for us.

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