Where In The Universe Challenge — With a New Twist

Article written: 15 Oct , 2008
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

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 Responses

  1. david says

    mars’s north pole taken by the phoenix lander

  2. david says

    mars’s from the orbiter MOR

  3. Andy says

    Frozen Mars North Pole Ice Patterns Observed by HiRISE

  4. KUTNEY says

    The North pole of Mars, by the Surveyer HiRISE Cam.

  5. KUTNEY says

    Correction: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

  6. Mr.Obvious says

    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?

  7. Liede-Marie says

    UT; 10-11-08; Frozen Mars North Pole Ice Patterns observed by HiRSE

  8. Jorge says

    This is a HiRISE picture of a dune field in the north (or was it south? hm…) polar plains of Mars.

  9. Astro says

    Mars north pole ofcorse 😀

  10. RL says

    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!

  11. RL says

    correction: “…but this twist makes Thursdays even more exciting.”

    Uggh. My grammar!

  12. Zibit says

    Mars – MRO.

    Unless its a trick, in which case its Volcanic glass rocks on someones carpet.

  13. Edwin says

    My Vote was also for the North Pole of Mars sand Dunes with frost.

    Know it was on of the Mars Orbiters

  14. Marjie Cheesman says

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

  15. Marjie Cheesman says

    Ok I give in. It’s Mars and the Barchans

  16. Jim says

    False finger nails on a sheet of polystyrene…?
    (made to look like the Mars images)

  17. Space Cookie says

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

  18. Jarod says

    It is ice fomations on Mars’ north pole.

  19. Dan Tillmanns says

    Mars, frost and sand dunes. That pix has been all over.

  20. Thomas says

    Definitely Mars, from HiRES.

  21. Ram says

    Mars north pole by HiRES .. image was rotated..

  22. harrybody says

    Off course, it’s at Mars – where else can it bee?

  23. MetalDave says

    It’s a Fake. Setup to appear as the dunes at the Martian north pole.

  24. Jennifer says

    by MRO

  25. Randy says

    Did Hubble get an image ot the oil spots in my driveway?!

  26. Duvvy says

    MRO Hellespontus

  27. Duvvy says

    In light of the second post up…

    MRO (HiRISE) North Pole of Mars sand Dunes with frost

  28. Gautam says

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

  29. Aykayem says

    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)

  30. TheNibru says

    ofcourse it is “THE MARS”

  31. alfamonaro says

    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!!!

  32. Tweefo says

    Earth – Bigfoot’s tracks

  33. Trippy says

    Mars, MRO, HiRise.

  34. Helkat17 says

    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.

  35. Rey says

    Looks like Styrofoam and some plastic stuff on it 😀 …

  36. balaji says

    i guess this is some island group at the pacific.

  37. Ash says

    False finger nails on a sheet of something

  38. louis says

    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!

  39. Looks like a close-up of false nails or pieces of seashells on human skin.

  40. BadGuy1981 says

    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….

  41. Mohan Rao says

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

  42. CosmicLint says

    North polar region of Mars.
    See image at:
    (I mean, it was on the same page as the quiz when I looked; make it a little harder, huh?)


  43. F.V.A.S says

    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,

  44. Kevin says

    It looks like someone clipped their dogs toenails on some pretty thick carpet.

  45. Jano (9 yo) says

    those are stones trapped in ice

  46. Vassilis says

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

  47. Nancy Atkinson says

    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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