Where In The Universe #90

Article written: 5 Feb , 2010
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

Oh, heavens! I’ve been so busy at Kennedy Space Center with pre-launch activities this week for the STS-130 that I totally forgot about this week’s Where In The Universe Challenge! Thanks to UT reader William928 for reminding me. Since this week is completely different for me, I decided to make the WITU challenge a little different. You can probably guess what planet this is. But the real challenge is to name to moon. Give yourself extra points if you can name the spacecraft responsible for this picture. Post your guesses in the comments section, and check back later at this same post to find the answer (if I don’t forget to post the answer…). To make this challenge fun for everyone, please don’t include links or extensive explanations with your answer. Good luck!

And yes, I’m really having an amazing experience covering the preps for shuttle launch!

UPDATE: Answer has been posted below.

The little moon is Io, backdropped by huge Jupiter. The image was taken by the Cassini spacecraft in 2001 while it was on its way to Saturn. Learn more about the picture here.

34 Responses

  1. J. Major says

    What he said. ^^^

  2. William928 says

    I’m going to go with Europa, Cassini.

  3. gammidgy says

    Io from Cassini.

  4. Nexus says

    Clearly Io.

  5. William928 says

    I stand corrected. Definitely Io, from Cassini.

  6. Vedic says

    IO – Cassini

  7. Nephish777 says

    Io in front of Jupiter, spacecraft Cassini.

  8. chicagowanderer says

    Ganymede in front of Jupiter

  9. myfaveclusterispleiades says

    jupiter with io, galileo satellite

  10. danielpsx says

    mmm, im going with: europa, jupiters moon, from cassini?

    I want my extra points please!! XD

  11. stile86 says

    Io from Galileo

  12. Torbjorn Larsson OM says

    So today’s meta question was “Where In The Universe is “Where In The Universe”?” And the answer was “lost at Kennedy Space Center”?

    Okay, pulling the meta off of that, I’ll go with the planet as ‘obviously’ Jupiter, which makes it likely to be imaged by Galileo.

    The moon is iffy, but the markings definitely reminds me of Ganymede.

  13. Wolter says

    i go for io 😉 and for galileo as the photographer

  14. Sirius_Alpha_1 says

    Without a doubt, it’s Io.

    I think it’s from Cassini.

  15. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    The planet is clearly Jupiter and not Saturn. Saturn does not have the swirling pattern in the upper clouds Jupiter has. The orange coloration of the moon suggests Io, and we are looking down on it, as it is the closest Galilean moon to Jupiter. The spacecraft is probably Galileo, which RIP is reduced to dust inside Jupiter.


  16. photon says

    Europa with it’s blue hue orbiting Jupiter.
    Spacecraft: Galileo


  17. ironis says

    I say Europa 2 ;p

  18. neoguru says

    Io by Cassini. Ain’t that a volcano in its upper left quadrent?

  19. BarryF1 says

    It looks like europa from galileo

  20. ski says

    Impressive image from cassini during Jupiter flyby on 2001-01-01

    Google image search on “io moon” shows this photo few times on first page!

  21. Verto says

    Its the Moon Io…nice flyby.

  22. Andy F says

    I go with Io, with Jupiter in the background.

  23. Tauridborn says

    It’s definitely Io, but it can’t be the Cassini probe. I think that shot was taken by the Hubble telescope.

  24. ROCA says

    Definitely this is a fantastic image of IO in transit captured by Cassini probe in January, 1st, 2001.

  25. BarryF1 says

    wrong guess its io taken by cassini…

  26. santafedog says

    Wonderful! Nancy, i hope you have some idea just how many people sit drooling in front of their computers waiting for the next issue of Where In The Universe.

  27. natgild says

    It ‘s Io with Jupiter in the background taken by Galileo spacecraft

  28. pink says

    Hm. I thought Io was kind of green and brightish with spots… This looked more like Europa to me?

  29. Ringman says

    Io in front of Jupiter by, I’m gonna say, Cassini?

  30. SteveZodiac says

    I was going to say Ganymede but then Ganymede is rocky and cratered as is Callisto they are both a long way out and this looks fairly close to Jupiter. It’s not yellowy enough for IO, Amalthea is just a rock so I guess it must be Europa even though it doesn’t look that icy either. The quality suggests more recent than 2000 so I’m going to guess at the New Horizons spacecraft in 2007

  31. entropy123 says

    Io… Cassini

  32. kootstar says

    Got to agree, that’s Io waving g’bye to Cassini, who’s taking one last picture out the back door. The shadows give a bit of hint to who sits where, if I read it right.

  33. darrrius says

    This is Io, Jupiters tortured moon. I’ll stick my neck out and say it was taken by New Horizons on its way to Pluto…

  34. MarkW says

    This image was also used on the cover of “The Algebraist” by Iain M Banks.

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