The Good Earth
December 24, 2013 10:44 AM   Subscribe

How The 'Earthrise' Photo Was Made.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (4 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Today is the 45th anniversary of this image being taken, when "the entire planet was a mess—southeast Asia was in flames, Czechoslovakia was living under a Soviet crackdown, Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King had been murdered and cities across the country had been torn by rioting."

With that context from the recent Time Magazine science blog write-up and the NASA video re-creating the scenario to take the iconic photo, it is all so much more impressive. Add onto that, the fact that the crew didn't know what exactly they had captured on film for folks back on Earth until the film was processed back in the US, days later, and it's all the more wonderful.

For more images from the Apollo 8 mission, check out the Apollo Gallery (no deep-linking, so you'll have to click on "Apollo 8" on the top left of the page to see the image listing). And for more context of capturing images of Earth from space, check quartzcity's great post on the topic.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:21 PM on December 24, 2013 [3 favorites]

"Look, we were trained to go to the moon. We were focused on the moon, observing the moon, studying the moon, and the Earth was not really in our thoughts until it popped up above that horizon."
Interesting how such a profound image completely escaped the mission planners. We overlooked it again ourselves when discussing China's lunar program here a few weeks ago: lots of calls for high res moon landscapes, perhaps some overflight shots of the original landing sites and the flag, but no mention of trying to get another Earthrise. Even Sagan didn't start pushing for the Pale Blue Dot photo until Voyager I had already passed it's original mission boundaries.
posted by ceribus peribus at 5:31 PM on December 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

Gotta love Apollo VIII, and any effort to keep its memory and importance alive is worthwhile.

Given what a truly shitty year 1968 was, Apollo VIII was a great way to close it out beautifully. I always choke up when they sign off their broadcast with "all of you, on the Good Earth."

And as an atheist, I'll add shame on Madeline Murray O'Hair for suing NASA over such a nice little (huge) moment.
posted by ShutterBun at 11:22 PM on December 24, 2013 [1 favorite]

There's also this video, recombobulated from the original NASA footage which I found on Reddit.
posted by fragmede at 8:59 PM on December 25, 2013

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