On December 24, 1968, Apollo 8 was orbiting the moon when the astronauts on board spotted the stunning scene of Earth rising above moon’s surface and captured it with a camera. NASA has now recreated this historical occasion in a video which shows how and where the image was taken.
The image, which later came to be known as ‘Earthrise‘ shows the colorful ball of our planet floating above moon’s pale surface, with the vast, black space as the backdrop. The image catapulted support for space missions back then and became immensely popular among the media and the masses.
On the 45th anniversary of the taking of this iconic photo, NASA has recreated the occasion in a video using a new visualization. The video, created by Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center makes use of original recordings and images from the Apollo 8 mission. In a brief animation, it goes on to show how Apollo 8 was moving when the photo was taken and how the astronauts were suddenly excited when they first saw the Earthrise.
According to the project lead of this visualization video, Ernie Wright, “The new visualization tells us not only what time the photos were taken, but also exactly which way the spacecraft was pointing and therefore which window each photo was taken from.”
Earthrise carries a lot of significance because it essentially became the symbol of humans’ space explorations. Some have even described it as ‘the most influential environmental photograph ever taken.’