This Week’s WITU Challenge

Article written: 4 Nov , 2009
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

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. Weโ€™ll provide the image today, but wonโ€™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 โ€” give everyone the chance to guess.

UPDATE: The answer has been posted below.

This object is the remains of a Type Ia supernova caused by the thermonuclear explosion of a white dwarf. It is called SNR 0104-72.3 (SNR 0104 for short), and is in the Small Magellanic Cloud, a small neighboring galaxy to the Milky Way. The image was taken by the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. The asymmetrical shape of this object is unusual for such a supernova and astronomers think this might be caused by jets in the explosion or clumps of nearby gas.

Find out more about SNR 0104 at the Chandra website.

Check back next week for another WITU challenge!

17 Responses

  1. Mr.No.Scope says

    Looks like a Chandra image, but I don’t know which one. Yankees 2, Phillies 1 bottom or the 3rd game 6

  2. Mr.No.Scope says

    Of course, it could be the Small Magellanic Cloud after Captain Riker and his crew on board the USS Titan finish destroying a large chunk of it without violating the Prime Directive. Space craft in this case would be a subspace telescope.

  3. Ringman says

    Hanny’s Voorwerp perchance?

  4. ND says

    I think I’ve seen this on the Star Trek TOS.

  5. KultiVator says

    It’s clearly a nebula doing an impression of Wile E. Coyote scratching the back of his head.


    Or am I alone on this???


  6. adambeck says

    To my knowledge, I can see quite clearly, that not anyone will know what this is!

  7. Nereid says

    This one is a real challenge!

    From the colours, I’d say it’s a multi-waveband composite, with the purple x-ray (or, perhaps, Fermi gamma).

    If so, then it would have to be a well-named galaxy (NGC something, or MCG, etc; not SDSS or 2dF or …), unless it were a galactic nebula, perhaps a highly unusual SNR (but that’s unlikely, given the absence of other ‘stars’).

  8. William928 says

    My guess would be a galactic nebula, but no clue as to which one. HST? Tough one, Nancy!

  9. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    This is SNR 0104-72.3: by Chandresharkar. Though we are not supposed to post the web site for the object.


  10. phez says

    oops! my bad. delete the post anyone? ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Jon Hanford says

    I’ll guess its the BCD I Zw 18 taken in the UV band by either SWIFT or GALEX ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. ROCA says

    SNR 0104-72.3 (Supernova Remnant)

    X-Ray from Chandra Observatory
    Infrared from Spitzer

  13. vino says

    I dont what that it..probably a nebulae..but looks like taken with Spitzer or Chandra or both…

  14. ioresult says

    I also thought it looked somewhat like Hanny’s Voorwerp, but it really is the supernova remnant from Chandra.

  15. kammueller says

    Hey look. They actually found Bender floating in interstellar space. You can let the monks out of the closet now!

  16. piehead says

    HA Ha! trying to catch me out here its unmistakably the ectoplasm fuzzy four shaped nebula, captured by a photon spectral hd x pixlation lens.everybody knows that,

  17. dennis79 says

    It looks like the crystalline entity to me.

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