Where In the Universe Challenge #21

Article written: 17 Sep , 2008
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

Here’s this week’s image for the “Where In The Universe” challenge. Take a look at the image above and guess where in our universe this image was taken. Extra points if you can name the spacecraft responsible for the image as well. No peeking below before you make your guess. Ready? You may begin….

This is an image of Earth’s Moon, taken by the Japanese Kaguya spacecraft, currently in orbit of the Moon. Interestingly, this image shows the Apollo 17 landing site at the Taurus-Littrow Valley, located on the southeastern rim of Mare Serenitatis. A flat valley is surrounded by mountains which were made of ejecta rocks from the when this “sea” was created by an asteroid impact. Since Kaguya is in a polar orbit of the moon, this image looks down from the south to the north. The spacecraft’s Terrain Camera was used to create this 3-D-like image.

See more images from Kaguya here. There’s quite a bit of information included with each image. The resolution isn’t high enough to see any features from the Apollo spacecraft, however the red circle in the Terrain Camera image below encircles the potential “halo” by Apollo 17 lunar module “Challenger” engine exhaust plume.

Possible Apollo 17 halo of exhaust.  Credit:  Kaguya

Possible Apollo 17 halo of exhaust. Credit: Kaguya

How did you do?

18 Responses

  1. mandydax says

    I got it right on both counts right away. Kayuga is doing some awesome imaging.

  2. kvenlander says

    I was about 50-50 between Moon/Kaguya and Mercury/Messenger. And guessed wrong. Oh well. Keep ’em coming!

  3. Alphonso says

    I guessed the Moon, but not the spacecraft.

    Well half marks isn’t bad

    (that’s my excuse & I’m sticking to it………………..)

  4. Maugrim says

    Yay! Spot on for once!

  5. RetardedFishFrog says

    I thought it was asteroid Frasercain 🙂

  6. Vino says

    Me too..I thought it was asteroid steins by Rosetta !! 🙁

  7. dominion says

    Hooray! I finally got one correct on both counts. I’ve just been looking at pictures of the moon with my daughter so this one was easy for me. Keep up the great work. We love this site.

  8. Yoo says

    Drat! First guess was the Moon, but I foolishly switched it to Mercury from MESSENGER. That will teach me to ignore first impressions …

  9. Adam says

    The Moon and Kaguya was easy. Taurus-Littrow was harder, i.e. I didn’t even try to guess. I’d like to visit that location one day though…


  10. RapidEye says

    Got the moon but duffed it on the craft – I guess I haven’t been paying too much attention to that mission. Looks like I need to start!

  11. mitkilurt says

    Got it! Well the moon anyways. Speaking of which looks beautiful this morning here in Wichita.

  12. RL says

    I guessed the Moon and “that Japanese space probe”! I guess the judges will have to decide if I was close enough on the spacecraft (I doubt it). But at least I guessed the Moon. I’m getting better. I think my record has improved to 3 for 20 (something like that anyway!) 🙂

  13. Jorge says

    Surely this is a Kaguya image of the Moon, no?

    Yes! 🙂

  14. Navneeth says

    Mars or Moon.

    Ok, lot’s of white patches…must be frost or something, that was mentioned here before. So Mars.

    MRO, maybe?

    Wrong on both counts.

  15. neoguru says

    The Moon or Mercury. Settled on Mercury. RATS! Now 15 for 21. That’s 71% – a “D” on the college scale. Any chance for extra credit?

  16. Pedro says


    Nancy: This week ‘where in the universe’ challenge was allready answerd when I received the newsletter and opened the link! I’ll never win if that keeps happening!!

    Anyway, i thought it was phoebe…

  17. Jorge says

    Pedro, the trick is: go to the front page, see the picture and read the first paragraph Nancy puts there, click on the comments link and answer, and then scroll up to read the rest.

  18. SubRider618 says

    Darn – I’d have had it right, if the photo had been enlarged enough to display Appol 17’s grafiti message: “Eat at Joe’s” etched on a rock. (The NASA guys have to consider all sources of income, y’know.)
    What an ineresting concept, though: If you could leave a sign, a playing boombox, or a marker of some kind on a body in space, What, Where, and Why? (Let’s assume that there is no monetary inducement.)

Comments are closed.