Here’s this week’s image for the WITU Challenge, to test your visual knowledge of the cosmos. You know what to do: 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.
UPDATE: The answer has now been posted below.
Twenty years ago the Voyager 2 spacecraft flew by Neptune and took this image of the Great Dark Spot on that planet. This is the last face-on view of the GDS that Voyager took with its narrow-angle camera. The
image was shuttered 45 hours before closest approach at a distance of 2.8 million kilometers (1.7 million miles). The smallest structures that can be seen are of an order of 50 kilometers (31 miles). The image shows feathery white clouds that overlie the boundary of the dark and light blue regions.
The pinwheel (spiral) structure of both the dark boundary and the white cirrus suggest a storm system rotating counterclockwise. Periodic small-scale patterns in the white cloud, possibly waves, are short-lived and do not persist from one Neptunian rotation to the next. This color composite was made from the clear and green filters of the narrow-angle camera.
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For more Voyager pictures of Neptune and its satellites, check out the NSSDC website.