Earth Matters

March Puzzler

March 31st, 2020 by Kathryn Hansen

Every month on Earth Matters, we offer a puzzling satellite image. The March 2020 puzzler is above. Your challenge is to use the comments section to tell us what we are looking at, where it is, and why it is interesting.

How to answer. You can use a few words or several paragraphs. You might simply tell us the location, or you can dig deeper and explain what satellite and instrument produced the image, what spectral bands were used to create it, or what is compelling about some obscure feature. If you think something is interesting or noteworthy, tell us about it.

The prize. We cannot offer prize money or a trip to Mars, but we can promise you credit and glory. Well, maybe just credit. Roughly one week after a puzzler image appears on this blog, we will post an annotated and captioned version as our Image of the Day. After we post the answer, we will acknowledge the first person to correctly identify the image at the bottom of this blog post. We also may recognize readers who offer the most interesting tidbits of information about the geological, meteorological, or human processes that have shaped the landscape. Please include your preferred name or alias with your comment. If you work for or attend an institution that you would like to recognize, please mention that as well.

Recent winners. If you’ve won the puzzler in the past few months, or if you work in geospatial imaging, please hold your answer for at least a day to give less experienced readers a chance.

Releasing Comments. Savvy readers have solved some puzzlers after a few minutes. To give more people a chance, we may wait 24 to 48 hours before posting comments. Good luck!

26 Responses to “March Puzzler”

  1. Daniele Ryser says:

    It is a frozen lake

  2. Thomas Proksch says:

    It’s the Lake Beloïe (White Lake) in Vologda Oblast, Russia.
    A canal was built to bypass the Lake around the south west part of the lake. It open in 1846. This canal is a part of the Volga-Baltic sea waterway

  3. Peter Mandl says:

    It’s a large artificial (manmade) coverage consisting of a kind of web. It is maybe for scientific (as an artificial environment) or protective reasons (against frost). The landscape around the object is a lake landscape and the lakes have frozen surfaces.

  4. Peter Balwin says:

    Could be a frozen water body in a tundra-like area amidst plenty of other frozen ponds and little lakes. Perhaps in a permafrost area like the Arctic or in a subarctic region? Northern Siberia, northern Canada.

  5. Douglas James Anderson says:

    It is a frozen lake. The interesting feature is that the thickness of the ice varies giving the illusion that it is somehow a bubble above the land surface. To the North-east is patch of snow or ice(?) that resembles a sperm whale.

  6. Jennifer Robinson says:

    It is an Iceberg

  7. Maureen Ludwick says:

    Chernobyl nuclear plant

  8. Emily Bates says:

    Lake Beloye in Russia!

    • Emily Bates says:

      Fun fact: the lake was once part of a canal system, but it was too treacherous in bad weather. Eventually the canal was rerouted around the southwestern edge of the lake instead.

  9. Tigran Mardanyan says:

    Parasuit in sky

  10. Tigran Mardanyan says:

    Parasuit or Weather balloon in sky

  11. Joaquim Carvalho says:

    It’s a North Korea missile test, last week.

  12. Pamela Frady says:

    An abandoned quarry

  13. Mine Ataman says:

    Lake Baikal

  14. Mine Ataman says:

    Frozen lake Baikal in Siberia

  15. Ned Hawks says:

    It appears to be the Giant iceberg spotted just off the Avalon Pennisula of Newfoundland.

  16. Kevin Goy says:

    A cocoon on a rock.

  17. Emaly says:

    A rock with an ice cube in the center

  18. Ioanna Urquhart says:

    HI- SEAS Mars isolation project in Hawaii maybe?? Everyone has to self-isolate now, so it’s relevant??

  19. S vineeth says:

    Australia Bushfire’s

  20. Rob C says:

    It is a used N95 mask floating high in the atmosphere.

  21. Jim Collins says:

    It’s a droplet on the camera lense

  22. Marlena Fields says:

    I believe it to be samples from Mars underground samples of frozen elements and Life organisms in the rock Derived from the
    ice found. And is growing new Elemental life.

  23. mlee says:

    mars polar region

  24. mlee says:

    mars southern pole region