Where In The Universe Challenge #38

Article written: 14 Jan , 2009
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

Are you up for another Where In The Universe Challenge? Take a look and see if you can name where in the Universe this image is from. Give yourself extra points if you can name the spacecraft responsible for the image. As usual, we’ll provide the image today, but won’t reveal the answer until tomorrow. This gives you a chance to mull over the image, and provide your answer/guess in the comment section — if you’re up to the challenge! Check back tomorrow on this same post to see how you did. Good luck!

UPDATE: (1/15) The answer has been posted below. No peeking before you make your guess!

As many of you guessed (knew), these are radar images taken by the Cassini spacecraft of Saturn’s moon Titan. The image shows dunes 330 feet (100 meters) high that run parallel to each other for hundreds of miles at Titan’s equator. One dune field runs more than 930 miles (1500 km) long.

The images look just like radar images of deserts in Africa, as seen below, showing that similar wind-driven processes might be taking place on Titan:

Top image courtesy Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center; bottom image

Top image courtesy Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center; bottom image

Great job, everyone. Come back again next week for another WITU Challenge!

22 Responses

  1. Jorge says

    I’ll eat my hat if this isn’t a radar image showing a dune field in one of the dry seas of Titan. Spacecraft? Cassini.

  2. RapidEye says

    I’m with Jorge – that was my first inclination as well.

  3. Arneb says

    Yep, Titan dunes. By Cassini. No other way.

  4. That was easy! says

    I’m also with you guys. I knew it as soon as I laid my eyes on it!

  5. faeze says

    I agree .That’s Titan..yes!

  6. Clayton says

    If it’s Titan then the spacecraft isn’t Cassini… it’s Huygens.

  7. Nephish777 says

    I agree with radar image of Titian taken by the Cassini space probe.

  8. Joe says

    Looks like dunes made of hydrocarbons on Titan, from the Cassini probe.

  9. John says

    Yup, It’s got to be Titan…seems like there is agreement here…

  10. Rey says

    That’s a piece of wood that was photo-copied.

  11. Taunide says

    Titan, Radar Image, Cassini.

  12. Chris Farmer, Adelaide, South Australia says

    As much as I like to disagree, Titan it is, Cassini.


  13. Spoodle58 says

    This is a hard one, I don’t know what it is.
    But I’ll take a guess.

    The Suns Corona by Ulysses????

  14. Procyon says

    You’re all wrong!

    The answer is Titan dunes

  15. GARY GEORGE says

    i agree, the lakes on titan, by cassini

  16. USSDRAKE1968 says

    Looks like someones fingerprint from the police station to me.

  17. RL says

    Its…aw, never mind. I’m not even close….

  18. neoguru says

    Dunes…. but Titan? I’m not convinced.

  19. Adam says

    Titan’s dune sea, obviously. “Cat scratches” as they are otherwise known, seen via Cassini’s RADAR.

  20. Jorge says

    Is the bottom image in the update a radar image of Earth?!

    If so, I’m glad you didn’t ask us to guess that one; I’d have to eat my hat if you had… 😉

  21. natronics says

    This had me scratching my head for a few minutes, then I realized it was radar, which usually means one thing: Cassini: Titan. Nailed it.

  22. Augusto Bibolotti says

    I couln´t find the planet where this picture was taken. I thougt it was the surface of the Pacific Ocean. Wow !!!!


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