Where In The Universe #80

Ready for another Where In The Universe Challenge? Here’s #80! 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.

This image is from the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter showing season frost on dunes in Mars northern hemisphere, just south of the northern polar cap. It was taken on in July of 2008, which would have been summer at that time and place on Mars. This is one weird lookin’ place on Mars. See the full image swath below, and see this page in the HiRISE website for more information.

Mars northern dunes. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona
Mars northern dunes. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

20 Replies to “Where In The Universe #80”

  1. Hello to Everybody 🙂
    After several futile attempts I finally managed to register!!!
    Going back to the matter.
    I’m the fourth to say that this characteristic image was shot by the Hirise camera located on MRO.
    Another psychodelic image of Marsian dunes I suppose.

  2. I think it may be a photo-micrograph of the grooves on something – perhaps a knurled surface.

  3. Hi friends,
    I also think it is Sand dunes in Mars : By HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

  4. It looks like a wet surface to me. I don’t know where but water drops must have gravity to move like that so I’ll guess the shuttle.

  5. That is very reminiscent of microscopic imaging of thin films deformed under compressive stress.

    As I can see similar wrinkles on surface images of Europa and Enceladus, I’ll take a stab at this being stressed (compressed) ice. That could give the similar lengths channels (end of a stress field), the wrinkly surface (later expansive stress [hey! I’m not a mechanical engineer, I don’t know what they call these doo-dads :-o]) and the scalloped features of the channels.

    The image quality _do_ suggest HiRISE and so MRO, so I would say most likely it is a shot somewhere from the (larger) south polar region of Mars.

  6. I spend a bit of time on the HiRISE site to see if I could spot this, but there are a lot of images there! The color scheme makes me think this is martian. Yet I could imagine this is a close up of chocolate stripes on top of a surgar cookie, or a micrograph with some false color scheme of some epitaxial or thin film deposition.


  7. A beautiful Mars landscape (sand dunes) taken by HiRISE camera on MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter) probe.

    Unversity of Arizona.

  8. I’m also gonna say this is a HiRISE image from the MRO, and I’m suspecting it’s of polar dunes.

    Man, that camera is something else!!! 🙂

  9. I’m gonna keep with the MRO response, but I’m gonna walk out on a limb and away from the “sand dunes” and say its some of the very exotic structures that have been formed on (i believe the southern?) ice cap of mars, from millions of years of sublimation.. I’m not exactly familiar with these structures but I have seen similar with the same “feel” and “color scheme” -SY

  10. I would very much like to go with Mars but that underlying granular structure ticks me off…so i am not sure…

  11. Well, I’ll be duned! A larger sample shows how irregular the channel lengths really are.

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