Here’s this week’s Where In The Universe Challenge. 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 instrument responsible for the image. 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 now been posted below.
This is Mars, from the HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, and this is a new image that was just released this week. It’s from the Gordii Dorsum region, which is an equatorial area just west of the Thasis bulge. The image shows a large area covered with polygonal ridges in an almost geometric pattern. If you remember, there were polygon features around the Phoenix landing site near the Mars Arctic region, and scientists thought they were created from freezing and thawing of suburface ice. But these polygons are huge, and Nicolas Thomas of the HiRISE teams writes,” The ridges may have originally been dunes which hardened (indurated) through the action of an unknown process. Groundwater might have been involved.”
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