Here’s the answer for this week’s Where In The Universe Challenge. And okay, okay, almost everyone proved they’ve been keeping up on current events. And UT readers are definitely getting to know HiRISE images almost on sight. So congrats if you said a HiRISE image. I’m really proud of all of you! So, just what is in this image? Ian wrote about it here last week. This is terrain near the north pole on Mars, probably not all that far away from the little Phoenix lander . The bright patch of material is ice, which might have been deposited in the previous winter. Here’s the explanation from the HiRISE site:
“After ice in the form of surface frost is deposited from the atmosphere, it experiences changes throughout the Martian year. Some of the ice has a polygonal texture which probably formed when temperature variations created stress and cracks in the ice.
The dark features scattered throughout the scene are dunes. The streaks emanating from the dunes trending in the southwest direction indicate the dominant direction of the wind in recent times.”
So great job, to all of our wonderful and knowledgeable UT readers who got it right. I’ll try to make it a little more challenging next week. For those of you who guessed wrong, just keep trying; there will be lots of chances to get some right. As my uncle used to say, even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile.
How did everyone like this new format, where we pose the challenge one day and provide the answer the next?