Where In The Universe #60

Ready for another Where In The Universe Challenge? Here’s #60! 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. Please, no links or extensive explanations of what you think this is — give everyone the chance to guess.

UPDATE: The answer has now been posted below. Don’t peek before you make your guess!

This is an image of clouds in Earth’s atmosphere, taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite. The features here are called “cloud streets,” this type of cumulus clouds form when cold air from the ice blows over the open ocean, chilling the moist air. As the temperature drops, water freezes into tiny clouds, which are arranged in neat rows in line with the powerful sweep of the wind. The clouds from this image are forming over the Bering Sea, and although some clouds form over the cracking sea ice on the right side of the image, most are over the unfrozen water.

To see a larger version of the image and to learn more about it, see NASA’s Earth Observatory website.

Check back next week for another WITU Challenge!

16 Replies to “Where In The Universe #60”

  1. OK, this has to be the Earth, with sea, fractured ice (an ice shelf, probably) and clouds, but this picture is at the same time gorgeous and seriously weird.

  2. I think that I saw either this picture or one similar to it on NASA’s Earth Observatory picture of the day site a few months back. It was taken from a NASA satellite of ice and clouds in the arctic. The winds that caused the could formations have a funny name.

  3. I would tend to agree that it is Earth. It sort of looks to me like an ice shelf breaking up, but honestly, I have no idea.

  4. This is an odd one. My hunch is this is arctic ice. I can’t figure out what the stripes are though.

  5. Planet Earth, at a guess… with ice breaking up, and the ripples could be one of those strange streaky high altitude cloud formations.
    If I’m right so far, then it’s probably a Terra Sat image.

  6. Yikes! This has gotta be the strangest WITU ever. Truly weird. I’m guessing Earth clouds, but they’re the stangest I can imagine.

  7. Sorry, my mistake, it is Titan and the spacecraft is Cassini, in my opinion

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