“Wow, is that pretty!”

Earthrise, Dec 24,1968The BBC reports on the 40th anniversary of a very special set of photographs, also remembered here. After completing three full orbits of the Moon the Apollo 8 astronauts turned their craft around and became the first humans to witness an Earthrise – Nasa’s unmanned Lunar Orbiter 1 had documented an Earthrise in 1966. Nasa has the transcript online – “It is 24th December, 1968; Christmas Eve and Apollo 8 has completed three full orbits of the Moon..” – and there are more links of interest at that BBC report. More photographs, orientated as seen by the astronauts at the time, below the fold. [Image credit: Nasa]
The sequence begins with one of the first set of photographs taken, in black and white.

Earthrise, Dec 24, 1968

Followed by this colour image

Earthrise, Dec 24,1968

and then this one

Earthrise, Dec 24,1968

And more recently we’ve had HD video from Japan’s Selene orbiter.