Where In The Universe #73

Article written: 30 Sep , 2009
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

Ready for another Where In The Universe Challenge? Here’s #73! 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 been posted below.

Doesn’t the Moon look good in pink? Yes, this is our Moon, as seen in gamma rays by the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory. If you could see gamma rays – photons with a million or more times the energy of visible light, the Moon would appear brighter than the Sun according to astronomers who worked with the Energetic Gamma Ray Experiment Telescope (EGRET), which toiled in orbit on board Compton from April 1991 to June 2000.

EGRET’s gamma-ray vision was not sharp enough to resolve a lunar disk or any surface features, but its sensitivity revealed the induced gamma-ray moonglow.

More info about Compton Gamma Ray Observatory.

Check back next week for another WITU challenge!

21 Responses

  1. Mr.No.Scope says

    Strawberry Fields by Paul McCartney with a Kodak camera and Kodachrome film.

  2. Dave Finton says

    I don’t know for certain, but my guess is a black hole, possibly at the center of a galaxy, by the Chandra X-ray telescope.

  3. Sili says

    Yeah – something high energy with that resolution.

  4. TerraNova says

    Maybe Cygnus X-1 by the Chandra X-ray Observatory?

  5. Member
    IVAN3MAN says

    It’s the image of the Moon seen in gamma-rays by the Energetic Gamma-Ray Experiment Telescope (EGRET) in orbit on NASA’s Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory.


  6. SuperKevin says

    Stumped me on this one…although I’m sure once 1 person gets it, everyone after that will too 😉

  7. scibuff says

    This has to be a super-giant blackhole in a massive galaxy … so my guess is of the first Chandra photos ever – Galaxy 3C295

  8. Jorge says

    Isn’t it obvious? It’s a new kind of object called a pink blob. Similar to the purple blobs, only redder.

    (Blobs aside? This picture looks familiar, but for the sake of me I can’t recall a single thing about it. I’m sure it’ll be one of those facepalm moments once the answer is revealed)

  9. Nereid says

    Could be anything!

    OK, so I’m going left field … it’s a still from one of those simulations, perhaps the formation of a Pop III star?

  10. Christine says

    Could it be the inner coma of comet Hyakutake?

  11. Dori says

    It’s clearly a false color image of the Eye of Sauron.

  12. Chrissyo says

    What IVAN3MAN said.

    The first time I saw this image it was posted as the profile background image of one of YouTube’s many “moon landing hoax” believers – the description was long the lines of “See all of that radiation coming from the moon?! This PROVES that humans couldn’t have gone to the moon and survived!!”. Seeing this image again made me think of that and smile. 😛

  13. DrFlimmer says

    I say, this is one of those terrible illustrations of the BigBang (showing it as an “explosion in space” – on the other hand: I have no idea, how to show an “explosion of space”).

  14. kammueller says

    It is a gamma ray picture of the TARDIS materializing on the moon.

  15. Bink says

    The Energetic Gamma Ray Experiment Telescope (EGRET) on the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory has detected gamma rays from the Moon as it passed through the instrument field of view several times between 1991 and 1994.

  16. Dave Finton says

    Well, it appears that Jorge was closer to the mark with his “pink blob” guess than I was with my “supermassive black hole” guess. Next time, I’m rooting for the blobs. =D

  17. Jorge says


  18. Chainfire says

    Strawberry fields forever!

  19. vino says

    Never for the life of me would have guessed it as moon…I spent atleast an hr searching for images on google… 🙁

  20. kammueller says

    vino – I don’t see that you guessed anything. I think the idea is to try and guess what it is based on your own knowledge. Not necessarily what you can find on google.

  21. feraligatr8 says

    I could make the exact same images with a simple brush and an effect in photoshop…..

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