Are you ready for another Where In The Universe Challenge? Take a look at the image above 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. 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. Check back tomorrow on this same post to see how you did. Good luck!
UPDATE: The answer to this Challenge has now been posted below. Don’t peek at the answer until you make a guess!
This image is of oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico on Earth. No, its not from an oil spill, but from natural seepage coming from the ocean floor. Natural seepage can introduces a significant amount of oil to ocean environments. Usually oil slicks on the ocean are difficult to see in natural-color (photo-like) satellite images, since the ocean surface is already so dark blue, the additional darkening or slight color change that results from a spill is usually imperceptible.
But remote-sensing scientists recently demonstrated that these “invisible” oil slicks do show up in photo-like images if you look in the right place, and if the sun is just at the right angle. The image above is a cropped version of the larger image below, showing the Gulf of Mexico, taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite on May 13, 2006.
For more info on these images, see NASA’s Earth Observatory website
How did you do in this week’s Challenge?