Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve in 1968.

This is the 40th anniversary of Apollo 8 putting men in orbit around the moon for the first time - and sending back images of Earthrise.

I suppose everyone has seen the color photo they took, but today's BBC article about the event includes the FIRST photograph taken of Earthrise by humans:

My version has been cropped from the 2411x2448 original available from NASA on the flight journal page describing this observation. The picture is in black and white because that is the film they had in the camera at the time, and is oriented the way NASA says Bill Anders said it looked to him from orbit. They were taking geology-oriented images of the moon, where color was not relevant. The iconic color photo was taken shortly after. A transcript of the hunt for color film and large versions of the two color photos are also on that NASA web page.

The BBC article also includes a low-def version of an HD video of Earthrise shot recently by a Japanese satellite and the first photo of the earth taken from lunar orbit.

Finally, one thing that is forever memorable: Live TV from the moon. The actual broadcast was a boring black and white image. What you might have seen later is that audio synced with the color film that was shot from orbit (see this video, for example) but only seen after they returned to earth.

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