This Week’s Where In The Universe Challenge

Itโ€™s time once again for another Where In The Universe Challenge. Test your visual knowledge of the cosmos by naming where in the Universe this image was taken and give yourself extra points if you can name the spacecraft responsible for this picture. Post your guesses in the comments section, and check back on Thursday at this same post to find the answer. To make this challenge fun for everyone, please donโ€™t include links or extensive explanations with your answer. Good luck!

Update: the answer has now been posted below.

Ah, yes: this is, in fact, the Tadpole galaxy, taken by the Spitzer Space Telescope. The Tadpole is a disrupted barred spiral galaxy located 400 million light years from Earth, located in the constellation Draco. Its “tail” is about 280 thousand light-years long.

For more info on this image, check out JPL’s Photojournal page.

Check back next week for another WITU challenge!

12 Replies to “This Week’s Where In The Universe Challenge”

  1. I agree with John Hupp. UGC 10214, the Tadpole. I actually have a better picture of it as my current wallpaper.

  2. This looks to be UGC 10214 = Arp 188, and judging by the resolution, this could be a Spitzer Space Telescope infrared image of this system. What a great interacting galaxy!

  3. I actually got pretty luck with this one. ASU has a poster of this Galaxy hanginng in one of its Physical Sciences buildings and I’ve walked by it nearly every day. It’s UGC 10214, aka the Tadpople Galaxy, photgraphed by Spitzer.

  4. Nah, not my thing. I know it’s a distorted galaxy somewhere, I can tell it’s undergoing a pretty fierce starburst, I know it was not in visible light the picture was taken, but I have absolutely no clue regarding what galaxy it is and only a vague guess as to this being an infrared image, which would add to the probability of the spacectaft responsible being Spitzer. Maybe.

  5. The Tadpole, though I do not know, off the top of my head, what NGC (etc) designation it has, nor where in the sky (which constellation, what RA&Dec) it is.

    From the resolution, it can’t be the Hubble Space Telescope, nor any ground-based telescope with adaptive optics (or even, for the VLT, just plain ordinary seeing there!); from the fact that the background objects are green, rather than red or white, I’d guess it’s taken in the near IR, or mid IR (a combo of ~3 microns, ~8 microns, and ~20 microns perhaps), which would mean Spitzer or the Japanese IR satellite (ASTRO-F?) … it’s not IRAS (resolution too good), nor 2MASS (which didn’t go that deep), but I guess it could be from the UKIDSS (though IIRC they don’t use this colour transformation in their public releases).

    Wait! the small edge-on galaxy to the right is all blue! So, Spitzer, or some other mid-IR space-based facility …

  6. Check out the pinkish galaxy above Arp 188. You can just barely make out an extension in the 3 o’clock position that represents a (dwarf) galaxy being tidally torn apart by its’ bigger companion. (It’s much easier to locate on Hubble pix of this system, but I don’t want to give away the answer with a link.) Also, I remember a lot of background galaxies in the HST ACS image. It seems like a lot’s going on in this corner of the sky.

  7. Tadpole galaxy in infrared. Probably Spitzer? *peeks upwards at the other posts*

  8. Wow, I went straight for “tadpole” and “spitzer” in my head! Does that mean I am officially an astro geek now? I’ve never been able to get the spacecraft before, without looking at other people’s guesses ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Becky WS, that you even have the words ‘tadpole’ and ‘spitzer’ in your lexicon qualifies your ascendancy to ‘astro geek’ -hood. Congratulations! ๐Ÿ™‚

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