This view of the north polar region of the Moon was obtained by Galileo's camera during the spacecraft's flyby of the Earth-Moon system on December 7 and 8, 1992.
The north pole is to the lower right of the image. The view in the upper left is toward the horizon across the volcanic lava plains of Mare Imbrium. The prominent crater with the central peak is Pythagoras, an impact crater some 130 kilometers (80 miles) in diameter. The image was taken at a distance of 121,000 kilometers (75,000 miles) from the Moon through the violet filter of Galileo's imaging system.
According to team scientists, the viewing geometry provided by the spacecraft's pass over the north pole and the low sun-angle illumination provide a unique opportunity to assess the geologic relationships among the smooth plains, cratered terrain and impact ejecta deposits in this region of the Moon.
JPL manages the Galileo Project for NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications. Image Credit: NASA/JPL