Where In The Universe Challenge — With a New Twist

Here’s the image for this week’s “Where In The Universe” challenge. But we’re going to try something different this time. Several readers have suggested (and maybe even begged) that we don’t reveal the answer right away, but allow everyone a chance to mull over the image and provide their answer in the comment section. Then tomorrow, I’ll post the answer and you can see how you did. So here you go: Take a look at the image above and try to determine where in the universe this image was taken. Give yourself extra points if you can name the spacecraft responsible for taking this image. Post your answers in the comments (if you’re brave enough!) and check back tomorrow for the answer. Good luck!

50 Replies to “Where In The Universe Challenge — With a New Twist”

  1. Mars barchan dunes (ohh what, about the 77 deg N Lat), MRO satellite

    I have this odd feeling I’ve seen this picture before… not to long ago. Could this be possible?

  2. I’m going with Earth and Landsat. The dark images look a lot like bodies of liquid….I don’t know of anywhere else that we have pictures of freestanding liqud.

    After typing the above and then peeking at the other answers, I see I’m going against the grain. We’ll see…

    I like the instant gratification of knowing the answer but this twist makings Thursdays even more exciting!

  3. It’s a very granular looking background! Does Mars look like that? Maybe further afield?

  4. Special incentive for those who haven’t done their homework yet: MORE bonus points for finding out about barchans.

  5. I think the photo is taken of planet mars with the white frost on it, and the photo was taken by MRO.

  6. hmmm maybe it is drops of spilt coffee on the wall/floor/whatever of the ISS … it has been a bit crowded up there lately …

    or maybe it is beetle wings on a bit of styrofoam?

    or Darth Vader’s shoulder and knee pads?
    (taken from/on the Millennium Falcon or whatever Han Solo’s ship is called)

  7. OK here goes…

    I think these are sand dunes surrounded by frost on either the northern or southern polar regions of Mars. I would take a punt and say that this image has been taken by HiRISE.

    I’m keen to know what they are now!!!

  8. Translucent ice and sand dunes in North Polar Region on Mars.

    But I like the false fingernails on a carpet and oil drops on my driveway better.

  9. This is mars right? I’ve seen an article of this here but i forgot the spacecraft who took that picture but man, it was so long!

  10. i would guess that this image was acquired at the end of August by HiRISE, and it is evident there was plenty of ice on the surface of this northern region. The MRO was making a pass over a geographical latitude of 77° when these pictures were taken, capturing the complex cracking of translucent surface ice, contrasting with the dark sand of a vast number of barchan dunes, a feature we often observe on Earth as well as on Mars. Phoenix landed at 68° latitude, a little further south than these HiRISE images, but it can be seen there is a lot more ice for that time of the year only 10° further north of Phoenix’s location (after all, no surface frost was observed by the lander in August).

    just as a rough guess….

  11. Are these particles captured by the Stardust capsule, arranged in a Thermocol sheet ? and taken by a camera with zoom lens !!

  12. This image was taken at the end of August by HiRISE, which found plenty of ice on the surface in the northern region.

    The Mars Orbiter passed over a geographical latitude of 77° taking photos and revealing these islands of ice,

  13. It’s translucent ice in the North Polar region of Mars. Image taken by Mars Reconaissance Orbiter.

  14. The answer — if you didn’t see the other post — is dunes on Mars north pole region taken by HiRISE on MRO.

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