Where In The Universe Challenge #141

Article written: 24 Mar , 2011
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

It’s time once more for another Where In The Universe Challenge (sorry for the short hiatus…) Name where in the Universe this image was taken and give yourself extra points if you can name the telescope or spacecraft responsible for the image. Post your guesses in the comments section, and check back on later at this same post to find the answer. To make this challenge fun for everyone, please don’t include links or extensive explanations with your answer. Good luck!

UPDATE: The answer is now posted below:

It took awhile, but readers finally figured this one out! This our Moon as seen from the MESSENGER spacecraft back on July 31, 2005, less than a year after it launched. As you know, MESSENGER is now successfully in orbit around Mercury (yay!) but at the time this image was taken, the spacecraft was about 992,814 kilometers (616,906 miles) from the Earth on its circuitous route to Mercury.

This image was featured on the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter website last week in honor of MESSENGER’s successful orbit insertion. As the LROC website says, this image was not taken simply because the Moon is beautiful and inspiring; it served to help the MESSENGER team calibrate the camera and spectrometer. The Moon is a good calibration standard because its reflectance and color have been measured with many instruments, so it is useful to make comparisons between instruments with different characteristics.

So congrats to the MESSENGER team — who will certainly henceforth be concentrating on Mercury!

And you can find the answer to the previous WITU challenge back on the original post.

22 Responses

  1. William928 says

    Dione, from Cassini would be my guess?

  2. PhelanKA7 says

    It’s the far side of the Moon. Picture taken by (and this is a guess) LROC.

  3. ramizq1 says

    Moon, possibly the far side.

  4. Member
    bystander says

    Lunar far side, but I think it’s probably from one of the Apollo missions.

  5. s.mallos says

    I concur with previous comments far side of the moon.

  6. theCase says

    ah, what the hell, if everything I do is wrong, the opposite must be right.

    I’ll say “Mercury” from” Messenger”

  7. Mister T says

    I’m with theCase ; Mercury by Messenger

    unless it’s not…

  8. jbuz says

    titan cassini


  9. wjwbudro says

    Kinda far away for a far side moon pic unless it was a look back shot taken by an outbound spacecraft.
    Looks like a vintage pic so I’ll go out on a limb and say maybe Dione by Voyager 1 or 2 as it got an assist from Saturn.

  10. jurluk says

    it’s Moon taken from MESSENGER

  11. adastragrl says

    My guess is Io, from Galileo…

  12. adastragrl says

    Changed my mind… I agree with jurluk… it’s the Moon taken by MESSENGER.

  13. Princ3ssLynn says

    Moon Messenger :0)

  14. wjwbudro says

    If it is from Messenger then it’s optics capability is a bit wanting.

  15. jurluk says

    yes, it is taken by messenger, but that image is taken on July 31, 2005, not now. at that time messenger was 992,814 kilometers from the earth 😀

  16. wjwbudro says

    Thanks, I knew it wasn’t now. As I said a outbound spacecraft. That’s still a bit fuzzy if indeed it was ~2 1/2 times earth monn distance.

  17. wjwbudro says

    Otoh, it’s mission calls for closeup photography instrumentation.

  18. sukhoi4700 says

    I thought only I was unsure of the answer…

    I will go with mercury form messenger…

  19. phdnk says

    Looks pretty much like the moon’s far side. It’s southern part actually.

  20. Member
    fvalk says

    My first impression was Io but as images are often related to something in the news I’ll bet for Mercury-Messenger.

  21. RUF says

    It’s Io — probably from New Horizons.

  22. Vanamonde says

    I would guess any world expect Luna! And I would have been wrong. Good one.

Comments are closed.