Where In The Universe Challenge #137

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 spacecraft/telescope responsible for the image. We’ll provide the image today, but won’t reveal the answer until later. 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 is now posted below.

While the explosion of Praxis might have looked like this if Nicholas Meyer would have filmed Star Trek VI in X-Ray, this is in fact an image of the core of M87, a galaxy in the constellation of Virgo. This image was taken in 2004 with the Chandra’s X-ray telescope, and showed what was believed to be three rings associated with the galaxy’s core and jet. See more about this image on the Chandra website.

Followup observations reveals actually just two circular rings with radii of 45 thousand and 55 thousand light years, respectively. These features are likely sound waves produced by earlier explosions about 10 million and 14 million years ago.

Check back next week for another test of your visual knowledge of the cosmos.

11 Replies to “Where In The Universe Challenge #137”

  1. It’s clearly Hephaestus wielding his huge hammer in conjunction with his cyclops co-workers in order to manufacture more lightning bolts for mighty Zeus himself.

    It’s pretty obvious when you think about it.

  2. This is either Kepler’s supernova remnant, SN 1604, or Cassiopeia A, taken in infrared. Don’t know which telescope captured the image.

  3. I think I am going to go against the tide here and say it is a shot of inside a caldera on Earth. My guess is on one of the volcanos in Hawaii given the lack of other ejecta.

  4. This looks like a high contrast near-infrared image taken by SUBARU (Subaru Telescope/SEEDS collaboration). Just where though, I am at a loss.

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