Where In The Universe #59

Article written: 25 Jun , 2009
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

Here’s this week’s image for the WITU Challenge, to test your visual knowledge of the cosmos. You know the drill: take a look at this image and see if you can determine 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. Please, no links or extensive explanations of what you think this is — give everyone the chance to guess.

If you missed the answer to last week’s WITU Challenge, find it here.

Look back at all previous 58 Where In the Universe Challenges.

UPDATE: The answer has now been posted below.

This is a false-color image of our own Moon, and specificially of Mare Tranquilitatis (Sea of Tranquility) and Mare Serenitatis (Sea of Serenity, or Sea of Peacefullness). As hal9000 so presciently said in the comments (hal, are you becoming sentient?) this image was taken Galileo spacecraft on December 8, 1992, during Galileo’s second Earth/Moon flyby on its way to Jupiter. Here’s a larger version of this image.

Of course, the Sea of Tranquility is well known as being the landing site of Apollo 11 (40th anniversary this year, in case you haven’t heard!) and the Sea of Serenity is the landing site for both Luna 21 and Apollo 17.

Check back next week for another WITU Challenge!

16 Responses

  1. Luis Saldarriaga says

    Location: Mercury
    Spacecraft: MESSENGER

  2. KultiVator says

    Total guess…

    Location: Mercury

    Spacedraft: Mariner 10 (false-colour)

  3. hal9000 says

    It’s an image of the Mare Tranquillitatis and Mare Serenitatis on the Moon taken by the Galileo spacecraft on December 8 1992, aken during Galileo’s second Earth/Moon flyby.


  4. Jorge says

    It’s either Mercury or the Moon, that’s for sure.

    I’m betting on the Moon, probably the Indian probe, don’t remember the name.

  5. kalumbe says


    Galileo flyby

  6. solrey says

    hal9000 said:

    It’s an image of the Mare Tranquillitatis and Mare Serenitatis on the Moon taken by the Galileo spacecraft on December 8 1992, aken during Galileo’s second Earth/Moon flyby.



    The Indian spacecraft orbiting the moon is named Chandrayaan-1,

  7. Jorge says

    Yeah, that’s it. Those long Indian names are a pain in the butt to memorize.

  8. Nereid2 says

    The Moon, Clemantine … no idea where, or when …

  9. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    I am not much on planetary geology, but this image appears to have a maria seen more on the moon than on Mercury. However, closer inspection reveals this apparent maria has a fair number of impact craters, larger than most on the moon. This picture also closely resembles an image taken by the Messenger spacecraft, though with different colorings.

  10. stargeezer says

    Other than my backyard, I havent the faintest idea. I remember some dolt a while back complaining whats the use of spending money on spacecraft that discover moons that look like giant fruit, or squash or something. Well this looks like a giant fruit, so I’ll say ganymede or io, and guess, since I feel cantankerous today, the spacecraft is Galileo, which would seem appropriate. Hmmm.. maybe it was a canteloup.

  11. Lucas Welby says

    Callisto? Spacecraft Galileo

  12. vino says

    I think it is Mercury by Messenger…Remember seeing pics of this color!!

  13. neoguru says

    Too many small craters to be moon. Looks a lot like Mercury. Could be Callisto. I’ll stab at the Moon. Lord only knows which spacecraft (or telescope).

  14. alvarofreitas says

    I’d try Caloris Basin in Mercury, Messenger spacecraft.

  15. CVBruce says

    Ok, it’s false color, but what was the purpose of the false color image? What colors were assigned to what wave lengths?

  16. feraligatr8 says

    you can’t use false colours!!! thats cheating! lol

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