Planets and Moons  ID: 4593

Earthrise in 4K

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.

Used Elsewhere In

Older Version


Visualization Credits

Ernie Wright (USRA):
Lead Visualizer

Andrew Chaikin:

Dan Gallagher (USRA):
Lead Video Editor

Noah Petro (NASA/GSFC):

John Keller (NASA/GSFC):

Richard Vondrak (NASA/GSFC):

Michael Randazzo (AIMM):
Video Editor

David Ladd (USRA):
Associate Producer

Laurence Schuler (ADNET):
Technical Support

Ian Jones (ADNET):
Technical Support

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

The Blue Marble data is courtesy of Reto Stockli (NASA/GSFC).