July 2, 2009
This mosaic picture of the moon was compiled from mages taken by the Galileo spacecraft in 1992. The north polar region is near the top part of the mosaic, which also shows Mare Imbrium, the dark area on the left; Mare Serenitatis at center; and Mare Crisium, the circular dark area to the right. Bright crater rim and ray deposits are from Copernicus, an impact crater 96 kilometers (60 miles) in diameter. Computer processing has exaggerated the brightness of poorly illuminated features near the day/night terminator in the polar regions, giving a false impression of high reflectivity there. The digital image processing was done by DLR, the German aerospace research establishment near Munich, an international collaborator in the Galileo mission. The Galileo project's primary mission, which ended in 2003, was the exploration of the Jupiter system.
Topics: Environment, Mare Serenitatis, Astronomy, Planetary science, Mare Imbrium, Mare Crisium, Mare Tranquillitatis, Galileo Galilei, Science, Moon