New Geography Trivia Challenge From Space

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You can now test your knowledge of the world’s geography in a new trivia game on Twitter sponsored by NASA and the astronauts on board the International Space Station. It is kind of like our own “Where In the Universe Challenge” but strictly of images from Earth, and in this contest, there are even actual prizes. Astronaut Scott Kelly started the game this week, which is Geography Awareness Week. His vantage point is perfect for hosting the game, as where else can you get a better view of the various geographical features on our planet than from the International Space Station?

First of all, you have to be on Twitter, and follow Kelly: @StationCDRKelly. He’ll post a link to an image he took, and the first person to correctly identify the place depicted in his photos will win an autographed copy of the picture.

“Expanding our geography knowledge is essential to our economic well-being, our relationships with other nations and the environment,” Kelly said. “It helps us make sense of our world and allows us to make connections between people and places. Space exploration is a global endeavor, and the International Space Station is the result of these connections.”

The new trivia game is a way to engage the public in the activities of the ISS, and the pictures that Kelly, and other astronauts take from the station aren’t all just fun and games. “From the cupola, which is much like a bay window in a house, we are able to take pictures for many scientific reasons, but also to share with the public what we are learning about the planet on which we live,” Kelly said.

See this link for a complete rules of the Geography Trivia from Space contest (pdf).

Kelly launched to the space station along with two Russian cosmonauts, Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka on Oct. 8. He is set to return to Earth March 16, 2011. The space station and its six crew members orbit the Earth more than a dozen times each day, traveling more than 320 km (200 miles) above Earth at 28,000 kph (17,500 mph).

For more info about the ISS, see this NASA webpage.

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004. She is the author of a new book on the Apollo program, "Eight Years to the Moon," which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible. Her first book, "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond.

View Comments

  • It's not clicking for me. Can someone describe parts of the picture? Like, is that dark zone extending \-wise almost to the center the Adriatic?

  • @ Tim: yes; North is up; the most lit part is Northern Italy, you can follow the peninsula down to its tip with Sicily near the limb, then going left Corsica, Sardinia and the North-African coast.
    The big cities in the northern half should be in Switzerland, Germany, maybe France.

  • Yeah, the brightest spot toward the western end of the band of light will be Milan, and the eastern end of the band will be where Venice sits on the Adriatic. The bright spot above Venice will most likely be Munich, with Stuttgart to its north west.

  • The bright town in the upper left of the picture is Stuttgart, the brigt one at the top is Nuremberg. The dark streak that starts below Milan is the Apennin mountain range. To the west of Milan you see Turin; below Turin you see Genova at the coastline, and following that coastline to the right you see the lights of the Arno river valley with the cities of La Spezia, Livorno, Pisa, and Florence. Below the valley you see the lights of Rome and Naples. The bright city partly covered by the solar panel of rhe soyuz craft is Zurich.

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