On December 24, 1968, three Apollo astronauts circled the moon, becoming the first humans ever to do so. On their fourth orbit, Apollo 8 Commander Frank Borman interrupted the studies of the moon's cratered terrain to roll the spacecraft, bringing the three main windows around to face the direction of travel. All of a sudden, a bright sliver of light appeared from behind the lunar horizon. Within seconds, a sphere with dazzling white swirls and vivid shades of blue came into view. The astronauts quickly positioned the onboard cameras, first capturing a black-and-white image of Earth rising, and then snapping a color photo of the Blue Planet floating above the horizon. This breathtaking color image would later become known as the iconic Earthrise photograph. The visualization uses data collected by NASA's Terra satellite and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter to re-create this historic moment in space exploration.
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NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center