Where In The Universe Challenge #133

Article written: 19 Jan , 2011
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015
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Here’s this week’s image for the Where In The Universe Challenge, to test your visual knowledge of the cosmos. 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 later this week. 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.

I’m really disappointed no one thought this was a picture of the Moon, as seen by the Apollo astronauts. That’s not what it is, but that was my thought when I first saw the image. This actually is an image I took of a lava field on the Big Island of Hawaii when I visited there recently. I was flying in a helicopter looking for lava flows and (see my article about flying over Kilauea Volcano) and this lava field does look as barren as the Moon, and I thought the window markings on the helicopter looked reminiscent of the Apollo Moon Lander windows.

Anyway, the great thing about the Big Island is that it is like a microcosm of the planet, with 10 of the world’s 14 or 15 identified climate zones contained in a 2 hour helicopter tour. Just a short flight from this lava field is a lush rainforest — and in the opposite direction is a sandy ocean beach. The affect of water on the rough lava is amazing.



13 Responses

  1. J. Major says

    I’m guessing Antarctica.

    Either that or it’s a city-wide coating of ionized Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man.

  2. William928 says

    I’m guessing Enceladus, from Cassini.

  3. Nephish777 says

    Appears to be a polar ice cap on earth from the ISS.

  4. Nephish777 says

    Appears to be a polar ice cap on earth from the International Space Station.

  5. jbuz says

    i think it’s a desert on earth taken from a plane

  6. ikonrahu says

    it looks like a mercury flyby photo

  7. r0blar says

    Judging from stuff on lower left (window fragment?) and lower right (ISS fragment?) of the pict I’d say it is Earth photo (polar ice cap) from ISS.

    But, on the other hand, thing on the lower right looks to be casting a shadow so maybe it is some kind of a zoom pict… but I will vote for ISS anyway.

  8. xrayexplorer says

    The brown object on the right is making me believe this is an image of an image, but I am going with ikonrahu on this one and saying it is a flyby (Obviously) image of Mercury.

  9. Feenixx says

    It looks like a turbulent water surface to me – if that’s true, then it’s Planet Earth – possibly taken from a helicopter?

  10. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    It appears to have been taken from a window. So this is either from the ISS or from an aircraft. The scale is hard to pick out, so I can’t determine a distance of any sort. It appears to be a polar ice cap or a glacial sheet.

    LC

  11. shifty says

    Jupiters moon Ganymede =P

  12. bits says

    To me it looks like a photo of some kind of white marble/rocky slab taken on Earth.

  13. sukhoi4700 says

    I think great guess by those who thought this is earth.. my mind was on Enceladus or even Europa

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