I’ve been enjoying a few lazy days of summer relaxing by a lake. The weather has been perfect, the lake is clear and warm, the food and drinks plentiful; a perfect vacation. But I finally realized (late in the day) today is Wednesday, and its time for another “Where In The Universe” challenge. So, here’s an image, and your mission is to guess where in the universe this picture was taken. You get extra points for guessing the spacecraft that is responsible for the image, too. So take your time, maybe put your feet up and grab a cold beverage on this warm day and ponder this image for awhile. No peeking below for the answer until you’ve made your guess.
When I first saw this image, I thought for sure it was a picture of some icy planetary surface or body of water. But actually, its not ice at all. This is Lake Erie, in the United States, and the image was taken on May 28th, 2006 at about noon local time, on a nice summer day. The sun is just at the right angle that causes a glint off the water, giving it an icy appearance. The image shows features on the surface of Lake Erie, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) west of Cleveland, Ohio.
The image shows V-shaped wakes of small water craft, as well as broad patterns of larger craft, probably large freighters carrying cargo, that displace and disturb more water during passage. These larger wakes are aligned with the direct course between Detroit and Cleveland (not shown in the image). Some of the broad, ill-defined swaths of light and dark (aligned from lower left to upper right) are streaks of wind-roughened water, which reflect the Sun differently.
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This image was taken by an astronaut on board the International Space Station with a Kodak 760C digital camera using an 800 mm lens. They are provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and the Image Science & Analysis Group, Johnson Space Center.
So, where ever you are, you can now enjoy gazing at a lake, just like I’ve been doing all week. My lake is a lot smaller than Lake Erie, though. But, enjoy!
Learn more about this image at NASA’s Earth Observatory site.