Between our physical exploration of the extremes of Earth's geography and environment, the solar system, and our great astronomical devices, humans have become used to a certain intimacy with the near and far universe.
But it's not always easy to pinpoint what you're looking at when pictures are shown out of context. Here's a brief challenge for you: Can you identify the following images? If so you've definitely earned your cosmic merit badge.
[Answers and image credits are at the end of this post]
(1) Large (over 150 micron) Martian sand-grains after sifting by the Curiosity rover. Image about an inch square. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS.
(2) Part of a solar filament (dark) breaking away from the Sun in 2015, seen in extreme ultraviolet light where the filament plasma appears cooler and darker. Spotted by the SOHO's C2 coronograph. Credit: NASA/SOHO.
(3) Part of the image of a distant galaxy being gravitationally lensed by a foreground massive galaxy, image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Credit: NASA/STScI/ESA.
(4) The Tartarus Dorsa mountains on Pluto, view less than 100 miles across. Credit: NASA/JHUAPL/SWRI/New Horizons.
(5) The Jovian moon Io - a closeup of one small region on Io's volcanically active surface (over 400 active regions at any given time) taken by the Galileo probe. Credit: NASA / JPL / University of Arizona.
(6) Closeup of a cross-section of a meteorite with olivine crystal inclusions (yellow) in a nickel-iron alloy - a centimeter or so across. Credit: J. Debosscher, KU Leuven.
(7) A living landscape - the surface of a Purple-striped jellyfish (you can see the original here). Credit: Sanjay Acharya, and Monterey Aquarium/Creative Commons.