Another wonderful image from the Apollo Image Gallery, this scanned film image shows the ascent stage of the Eagle lander as photographed by Neil Armstrong, with the partially-lit Earth floating in the black lunar sky above.
This is how our world looks from 239,000 miles away.
Basically it would look 4 times larger than the full moon does to us here. Because the moon is a quarter the size of Earth. It’s a big moon, as moons go. And it has the distinction as being the only other world people have set foot on.
While the television broadcast most people remember of the 1969 moon landing was ghostly and grainy, the film images taken by Armstrong and Aldrin – and all the astronauts of the Apollo missions – are wonderfully sharp and detailed due to the large-format Hasselblad cameras they used. Add to that consistently bright sunlight and the lack of distorting air on the moon and the photos that were brought back (and meticulously scanned by Kipp Teague and Ed Hengeveld) are amazingly – almost surrealy – crisp and bright.
Check them out on the Image Library site. Here, on the anniversary of the July 20th landing, it’s a great way to get a new look at a shining example of human achievement.
Image: NASA. Scan: Kipp Teague.
P.S. An interesting thing to note….when Neil took this image of Earth, he was taking a group photo of 3 billion people. Now, 40 years later, the estimated world population is 6.77 billion. The amount of people on this planet has more than doubled in the past two generations. Attribute that to what you will, but it has to leave a mark.
The world hasn’t gotten any bigger, after all.
(Added 7/20/12: Now there’s 7 billion. But still, same size Earth.)