24 December 2012


On Christmas Eve, 1968, during the Apollo 8 mission (the first manned voyage to orbit the moon), astronaut William Anders photographed an image which is recognized around the world..  It came to be known as Earthrise ~ the first time in human history that our native planet was seen emerging from the horizon of another celestial body.  The image is one of profound beauty, eliciting awe and a sense of humility.  Nature photographer Galen Rowell called it "the most influential environmental photograph ever taken."

The image appears above (click to enlarge).  The Earth's orientation is south (Antarctica) to the upper left.  You can read more about its history, and view a computer animation depicting what the astronauts witnessed, here.

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