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Where In The Universe #130

Here’s this week’s Where In The Universe Challenge. 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.

UPDATE: Answer now posted below!

This is the Moon, specifically the big rock in the middle is a close-up of a 320 meter block of ejecta in Tycho crater covered by a veneer of impact melt. The image was taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera earlier in 2010.

Tycho crater is one of the most visible features on the near side of the Moon, and its ray system extends far and wide. So much so that the Apollo 17 astronauts sampled its ejecta, over ,2000 km away from the crater! That is amazing!

See more images of Tycho and learn more at the LROC website.


Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today's Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT's Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Lawrence B. Crowell December 23, 2010, 1:59 PM

    It looks very martian somehow.


  • Ringman December 23, 2010, 3:30 PM

    Looks like it could be somewhere on the moon, taken by the LRO.

  • Nephish777 December 23, 2010, 3:49 PM

    Ejecta in Tycho crater, from the LRO. Published December 8 2010.

  • William928 December 23, 2010, 4:05 PM

    Mars, not sure where.

  • William December 23, 2010, 5:59 PM

    Mercury Voyager mission

  • r0blar December 24, 2010, 1:14 AM

    Venus Venera ?

  • GBendt December 24, 2010, 1:24 AM

    I am sure that is is a location on the moon, taken bei the LRO. Great picture!

  • j_talevska December 24, 2010, 1:41 AM

    Looks like the moon…

  • Spoodle58 December 24, 2010, 1:54 AM

    The Moon, near an Apollo landing site. Taken by the chinese lunar craft.

    Happy Christmas all at UT, Fraser for keeping it going (advertising aside it must be costly, there should be a a way for UT readers to donate) and a special thanks to Nancy for her engaging articles this year, and thanks to all the rest of the gang.

  • Lawrence B. Crowell December 24, 2010, 3:54 AM

    Nephish777 got this one. It is Tycho ejecta imaged by the LRO.


  • fvalk December 24, 2010, 6:40 AM

    Cydonia “the Face” on Mars

  • EWigg December 25, 2010, 2:22 AM

    Early Mars picure.

  • Mehdi December 25, 2010, 8:50 PM


  • lars December 28, 2010, 6:59 AM

    By the very fine powdery appearance of the surface, and the very deep shadow, I’m inclined to think ‘no atmosphere’ is present. No Martian blueberries also inclines me to vote, it’s not Mars.
    On second thought, are we looking at a view that’s 3 feet wide, or is it more like 3 miles wide ? I was thinking 3 feet, which would account for the ‘fine dust’ assessment.
    However if it’s really a 3 mile wide view, that changes things !
    Scale in photos really is a problem !