Earthrise in 4K
On December 24, 1968, Apollo 8 astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders became the first humans to witness the Earth rising above the moon's barren surface. Now we can relive the astronauts' experience, thanks to data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Complete transcript available.
Watch this video on the NASA Goddard YouTube channel.
This is a new, ultra-high definition (UHD, or 4K) version of the Earthrise visualization first published in 2013.
In December of 1968, the crew of Apollo 8 became the first people to leave our home planet and travel to another body in space. But as crew members Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders all later recalled, the most important thing they discovered was Earth.
Using photo mosaics and elevation data from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), this video commemorates Apollo 8's historic flight by recreating the moment when the crew first saw and photographed the Earth rising from behind the Moon. Narrator Andrew Chaikin, author of A Man on the Moon, sets the scene for a three-minute visualization of the view from both inside and outside the spacecraft accompanied by the onboard audio of the astronauts.
The visualization draws on numerous historical sources, including the actual cloud pattern on Earth from the ESSA-7 satellite and dozens of photographs taken by Apollo 8, and it reveals new, historically significant information about the Earthrise photographs. It has not been widely known, for example, that the spacecraft was rolling when the photos were taken, and that it was this roll that brought the Earth into view. The visualization establishes the precise timing of the roll and, for the first time ever, identifies which window each photograph was taken from.
Two craters visible in the Earthrise image, formerly called Pasteur T and Ganskiy M, were renamed Anders' Earthrise and 8 Homeward by the International Astronomical Union to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 8 mission.
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio
MissionsThis visualization is related to the following missions:
Datasets used in this visualization
Apollo 8 Trajectory Reconstruction
Terra Blue Marble (Collected with the MODIS sensor)
Credit: The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).See more visualizations using this data set
LRO DEM (A.K.A. Digital Elevation Map) (Collected with the LOLA sensor)
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter LROC WAC Color Mosaic (A.K.A. Natural Color Hapke Normalized WAC Mosaic) (Collected with the LRO Camera sensor)
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details, nor the data sets themselves on our site.