Where In The Universe Challenge #144

Article written: 13 Apr , 2011
Updated: 24 Dec , 2015

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: Answer is now posted below.

This is a closeup of part of the Helix Nebula, or NGC 7293. Produced in 2003, at the time it was one of the largest and most detailed celestial images ever made. The composite picture is a seamless blend of ultra-sharp images from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope combined with the wide view of the Mosaic Camera on the National Science Foundation’s 0.9-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Ariz. See more info on this picture at the HubbleSite.

28 Responses

  1. jayfish says

    NGC 7293

  2. J. Major says

    This is definitely zoomified neblulosity of some sort….I’ll guess it’s a part of the Eagle Nebula, taken by Hubble. 🙂

  3. Lawrence B. Crowell says

    Eagle or Orion nebula closeup.


  4. glafebe6 says

    This looks like the Helix Nebula NGC 7293 to me

  5. Commander says

    Definitely Helix Nebula NGC 7293 by Hubble, one of my favorite, sometimes referred to as “the eye of God.” Chilling by that description!

  6. Dr. Morbius says

    It’s the Ring Nebula.

  7. WingTsun says

    This looks like burning planet with atmosphere 😀

  8. rvodder says


  9. Devin Null says

    Helix nebula for for sure. Taken by HST.

  10. Tim McDaniel says

    OK, so is THIS one Praxis exploding due to over-mining?

    (Thank you, clatonium, from February 16, 2011 at 12:54 pm.)

  11. I think this has to be the ring nebula (aka m57?). Probably by Hubble back in 2001.

  12. Member

    It’s the Helix Nebula (NGC 7293) all right, but you’ve got the wrong telescope (HST) in mind; I’ll wager that the above close-up image was taken by the Wide Field Imager (WFI) camera attached to the 2.2-metre Max-Planck Society/ESO telescope at the La Silla observatory in Chile.

  13. Fluffmachine says

    photo taken when entering the earths atmosphere?

  14. SierraWing says

    NGC 7293 / HST

  15. crunchyspacetime says

    this is the helix nebula for sure.

  16. getvinay says

    Helix Nebula by hubble telescope

  17. Hon. Salacious B. Crumb says

    Surely this has to be a painting by one of the Impressionists!!!
    Frankly who cares what astronomical object it is!!
    A very pretty image, and one rightly deserved to be hung on a wall or used as a computer screen desktop!

  18. lars says

    My vote is for M57, the Ring Nebula, probably by the Hubble space telescope’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2.

    M57 has the characteristic colors of red, yellow and blue in its photo; whereas NGC 3132 is yellow, green and blue; and NGC 7293 the Helix Nebula is red, yellow, green, and blue, and has the very distinctive and highly defined ‘cometary knots’ that alternately look to be ‘streaming inward’ or being ‘blown outward’, at the ‘boundary layer’ between the ‘inner clear space’ and the ‘dusty periphery’.

    M57 on the other hand, has its cometary knots in a much more ‘fuzzy’ or ‘indistinct’ resolution, as compared to Helix; and 3132 is even less defined and more fuzzy than M57.

    But then, I specialize in this subject !

  19. kdeluc says

    it is Vostok 1 yuri gagarin’s first flight

  20. JeffM says

    Looks like closeup of The Spirograph Nebula….

  21. santafedog says

    How did you get a picture of the bottom of my fish tank?

  22. renoor says

    crop of M57 planetary nebula, hubble?

  23. GBendt says

    I think this is a section of the Helix nebule in Aquarius, taken by the Hubble Space telescope.

  24. Rita says

    Yes a close up of the Helix Nebula by Hubble.

  25. A section of NGC 7293 (The Helix Nebula) composed of images from the ACS instrument on the Hubble Space Telescope and wide-angle images from the Mosaic Camera on the WIYN 0.9-m Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory.

  26. paul.swanson says

    It’s either the Ring Nebula or the Helix. HST I imagine.

    Or, it’s a close-up of my eye after a night of partying …

  27. Mr.No.Scope says

    I concur with santafedog. It is definetly the bottom of his (her?) fish tank. Nancy sure is sneaky, isn’t she?

    In the unlikely chance that it is not the bottom of santafedog’s fish tank, then I am pretty sure I have seen this picture and remember it as a nebula, but since I am not eidetic and am to old and lazy to try to find it, I will go with the consensus of the Helix nebula.

  28. Mr.No.Scope says

    P.S.; “Thar be dragons in thar!”

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