Where In The Universe #67

Article written: 19 Aug , 2009
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

Ready for another Where In The Universe Challenge? Here’s #67! 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.

This colorful image is of NGC 346, the brightest star-forming region in the Small Magellanic cloud, a dwar galaxy that orbits the Milky Way at a distance of 210,000 light-years. It combines X-ray, infrared and visible light captured by ESA’s XMM-Newton X-ray observatory, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope and the European Southern Observatory’s New Technology Telescope — so a composite from space- and ground-based telescopes.

This images was released in October 2008 and it provides a new information on how stars in the Universe form. This image shows that wind- and radiation-induced star formation are at play in the same cloud, telling astronomers that star formation is a complicated process comprising different competitive and collaborative mechanisms.

Learn more about his image here.

Thanks for participating in this week’s WITU challenge, and check back next week for another test of your visual knowledge of the cosmos!

16 Responses

  1. Kevin F. says

    You have stumped me. Usually it’s easy to sort out planets, but nebulae? You win.

  2. Jorge says

    Ah, I love to be completely stumped like this, and it’s been a while. I only know this is a Chandra image. The rest? Beats me!… 🙂

  3. Spoodle58 says

    That S shape is familiar, am is the galactic center again?

  4. William928 says

    A nebula, not a clue which one, but what a beautiful image!

  5. Pla303 says

    A nebula for sure. No idea which one, but I think it might be in the X-ray or the IR spectra. Pretty.

  6. scibuff says

    I recognize NGC 346 and it seems like a combination of IR and X-ray. I’d guess IR from Spitzer and X-ray could be either from Chandra or XMM-Newton (Rossi doesn’t look at these kind of objects)

  7. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    I second NGC 346. It does appear to be a composite image


  8. Mike Lynch says

    Tricky: spacecraft can be a plural noun


    looks like violent star forming results, however, I pass on what it is!!!! I am defeated!!!!

  10. tielenaar says

    It is a Spitzer image, but I have no idea of what exactly. Kinda looks like a supernova or planetary nebula, but I could be way off.

  11. tielenaar says

    Got it. It is NGC 346, scibuff seems to be right!
    Spitzer / XMM-Newton

  12. santafedog says

    Looks a lot like the Eagle to me, but what do i know?

  13. vino says

    All i know is that it is a form of nebular which is not taken with visible…Hence it could be Chandra or Spitzer…
    But it looks beautiful!!

  14. Nereid says

    Spitzer, a star-forming region in our own MW galaxy (or possibly the SMC or LMC) … but which one?

  15. Jon Hanford says

    I’d guess NGC 346 in the SMC by the Spitzer Space Telescope.

  16. tielenaar says

    Just a small note, in the EXIF data of the image I could find a Spitzer copyright note, so that kinda gave it away. Might wanna check that next time 🙂

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