Where In The Universe #60

Article written: 1 Jul , 2009
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

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 Responses

  1. Jorge says

    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. kalumbe says


    NASA’s Terra satellite.

    Beautiful picture.

  3. pjconnolly says

    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.

  4. Mr.No.Scope says

    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.

  5. Lawrence B. Crowell says

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

  6. Ringman says

    an image of earth from the Space Shuttle or the ISS

  7. Feenixx says

    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.

  8. msadesign says

    You are an evil woman, Nancy! 🙂

  9. kangattack says

    definetly mars and pictures from spirit!

  10. neoguru says

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

  11. Andrew says

    Whatever it is, it sure is pretty!

  12. Blackholesun says

    I believe that this is the moon Titan.

  13. Blackholesun says

    Voyager 2 took this photo, if Titan is the correct answer

  14. Blackholesun says

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

  15. Spoodle58 says

    Bering Sea
    MODIS on NASA’s Terra satellite

  16. akkalwade_jyoti says

    clouds formed over the Bering Sea…

Comments are closed.