Where In The Universe Challenge #105

Article written: 19 May , 2010
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

Ready for another Where In The Universe Challenge? Here’s #105! 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. We 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.

On July 20, 1976 the Viking 1 Lander separated from the the Viking Orbiter and touched down at Chryse Planitia. This image was taken on the 28th sol or Martian day of the mission. As you may know, the Viking 1 lander has now been surpassed in having the record of longest surface mission on Mars — the Opportunity just passed Viking 1’s duration of six years and 116 days operating on the surface of Mars.

The imaging team from Viking were basically learning on the fly on how to calibrate the color for the images, so some early images tended to show “blue” sky, while later reconstructions, trying to account for out-of-band contributions in each filter, tended to show a “red” sky, and often an “orange” surface. Owing to calibration uncertainties, the exact reconstruction of Viking Lander color images remains more or less an art. But what a heady time that must have been in 1976, having two landers on Mars, both working successfully!

Learn more about the Viking lander images and mosaics here.

Check back next week for another WITU challenge!

14 Responses

  1. SpaceYeti says

    Well.. first instincts were it was a trap!

    but no, its Mars…. by my favorite, the Viking Lander. 🙂

  2. Ringman says

    Definitely Mars, and I’m guessing pre- Mars Exploration Rovers,…
    So probably Viking.

  3. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    I concur it is Viking on Mars, but as yet I do not know whether it is Lunae Palus or Margaritifer Sinus from V1 or V2.


  4. Jorge says

    Mars, of course. Probably Viking? The stuff in the foreground doesn’t look like anything recent.

  5. vagueofgodalming says

    I know this one!

    Heathrow Airport, under volcanic ash. Taken by a tourist.

  6. PJZen says

    It is all in my mind. Prove me wrong.

  7. Member

    It’s the view of Chryse Planitia landing site from Viking Lander 1.

  8. J. Major says

    Is that a gorilla in the distance?

  9. Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Atacama Desert, South America, Chile

    Probably in the brilliant Valle de la luna, near San Pedro de Atacama

  10. paulthejock says

    bit suspicious of this one, seems far, far, far too easy. I’ll go for the studio in hollywood where they faked the moon landings! (kidding)

  11. neoguru says

    Mars or sneaky look-alike.

  12. kammueller says

    Not a Gorilla. More likely Bigfoot. I am pretty sure he is being chased by Martians who emerged from the invisible crystal palace near the Face on Mars.

  13. darthwader says

    Utah from a Ford Aerostar. Look at the place, completely devoid of civilization, where else could it be.

  14. psteinb says

    from Venera I

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