25 Dec 2008
The Earth from Space
The Earth from space is always an impressive and amazing image. Here are two nice photos from exactly 40 years ago. The first is the first image taken by humans of the whole Earth. Photographed by the crew of Apollo 8, the photo shows the Earth at a distance of about 30,000 km. South is at the top, with South America visible at the covering the top half center, with Africa entering into shadow. North America is in the bottom right.
The second image is a photo taken 40 years ago by Apollo 8 crewmember Bill Anders on December 24, 1968, showing the Earth seemingly rising above the lunar surface. Note that this phenomenon is only visible from someone in orbit around the Moon. Because of the Moon’s synchronous rotation about the Earth (i.e., the same side of the Moon is always facing the Earth), no Earthrise can be visible from the surface of the Moon.
(text and images from wikipedia)