Where In The Universe Challenge #122

by Nancy Atkinson on October 14, 2010

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Ready for another Where In The Universe Challenge? Here’s #122! Take a look and see if you can name where in the Universe this image is from. Give yourself extra points if you can name the spacecraft, telescope or instrument responsible for the image. We provide the image today, but won’t reveal the answer until tomorrow. This gives you a chance to mull over the image and provide your answer/guess in the comment section. And Please, no links or extensive explanations of what you think this is — give everyone the chance to guess. (Some folks have been messing that up lately — let’s get it right, people!!)

UPDATE: Answer now posted below.

As some of you guessed (knew!) this is phytoplankton bloom off the coast of Argentina in early February 2010, which colors the Atlantic Ocean’s waters blue-green. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite is the instrument and spacecraft responsible for this image. See the full image and more information at the NASA Earth Observatory website.


Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

vagueofgodalming October 14, 2010 at 7:16 AM

Van Gogh’s little-known ‘Cloudy Night’.

Lawrence B. Crowell October 14, 2010 at 5:16 AM

I will hazard a bit of a guess here. This appears similar to a close up of the Gulf waters with an oil slick from the Deep Water Horizon well disaster.


IVAN3MAN_AT_LARGE October 14, 2010 at 5:47 AM

Cheech & Chong — Still Smoking.

Navneeth October 14, 2010 at 6:06 AM

It’s definitely one of those “optical phenomenon” and my first guess was the trail of some rocket, but I’ll go with the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico. As for the satellite, I’ll say TERRA.

jbuz October 14, 2010 at 7:31 AM

I’m gonna guess it’s a photograph of jupiter’s atmosphere with some sort of filter on it. new horizons??

imperiumsolis October 14, 2010 at 8:13 AM

Too easy!
It’s a phytoplanktonic bloom in South Atlantic Ocean (near Argentine coast).

Nephish777 October 14, 2010 at 9:23 AM

I agree that it is a plankton bloom, but don’t know where or what satellite.

imperiumsolis October 14, 2010 at 9:56 AM

Oh, it was MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite that captured this image.

Jon Hanford October 14, 2010 at 4:30 PM

Luminiferous Aether

…..or Cheech & Chong

ackerman October 14, 2010 at 5:49 PM

I think it is a phytoplankton bloom imaged from a satellite. I’m seen images like this from off Vancouver Island and from off Patagonia, but I really don’t know where or what satellite.

Mister T October 15, 2010 at 2:49 AM

it’s my big blue shooter marble sitting on my dresser.

taken by a telephoto spy camera on a black helicopter out of Langley.

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