Friday, December 26, 2008

Earthrise - 40 years later

December 24th marked another anniversary other than what most people were focused on. It was the 40th year after the flight of Apollo 8. For those that are too young to remember, Apollo 8 was the first manned spaceflight that left the Earths gravity and traveled to the moon. While they didn't land, they were the first humans to see the Earth rising above the moon.

The photo had a huge impact on society at the time. Showing the Earth as a small blue globe rising above the Lunar plains, it galvanized the environmental movement. It became a popular poster and you still see it used from time to time. Unfortunately its impact has lessened over time.

I have this vain hope that people will look at this photo every once in a while and realize how small and fragile this world we live on is. That all our eggs are in the one basket and once it's used up, it's gone. I realize that in this time of instant communications, a plunging economy and the hectic pace of everything, that it's probably not going to happen. But I can hope.

Being a young space geek at the time this was first shown, it had a huge impact on me and helped shape my view of the world. It demonstrated for me early on the power of an image. Even now, 40 years later, it still has a huge effect on me.

Photo GPN-2001-000009.jpg was downloaded from NASA. Usually presented in landscape mode, it actually was taken in portrait mode as presented above. There is no copyright on the photo that I could find.

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