The story behind the “Earthrise” photos taken by Apollo astronauts

Written by: Lisa Stelzner

Primary Source: Lisa Stelzner

Learn how Apollo 8 astronauts, in 1968, unexpectedly saw the Earth rising above the Moon’s surface during their successful mission to become the first astronauts to orbit the moon. The iconic photos they took occurred because of several lucky events (it’s only because the spacecraft was rolling that the Earth came into their view, and they found a roll of color film to put in their camera just in time).  Our current-day Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has been able to help determine how the spacecraft was rolling and the views it saw out of specific windows, allowing for the creation of this video.  Enjoy! (And you may want to make it full-screen!)

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Lisa Stelzner
I'm a plant biology PhD student studying monarch butterflies in Michigan, but I'm interested in lots of other types of science, too. I am interested in how breeding monarch butterflies choose their habitat based on floral species richness and abundance. Few studies have been conducted on optimal foraging theory when it involves an organism searching for two different kinds of resources, and butterflies are an ideal study system to investigate this, since many species are ovipositing specialists and only lay eggs on one species of hostplant, but are feeding generalists and nectar from a broad variety of flowering forbs.