NASA Releases New Earthrise Simulation Video

By  //  December 25, 2013

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Earlier 'Earthrise' Photo Sent to the Moon by Laser

ABOVE VIDEO: To mark the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 8 “Earthrise” photograph, NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio has recreated this historic moment exactly as the astronauts saw it, using data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

NASA.gov – NASA has issued a new visualization of the events leading to one of the iconic photographs of the 20th Century – Earth rising over the moon captured by the crew of the Apollo 8 mission.

This is a computer-generated visualization of the Apollo 8 spacecraft in orbit around the moon, with Earth rising over the horizon. (NASA.gov image)

This is a computer-generated visualization of the Apollo 8 spacecraft in orbit around the moon, with Earth rising over the horizon. (NASA.gov image)

The photo known as Earthrise is the first color photograph of Earth taken by a person in lunar orbit. Earthrise is the cover photo of TIME’s Great Images of the 20th Century, and is the central photo on the cover of LIFE’s 100 Photographs That Changed the World.

“Earthrise had a profound impact on our attitudes toward our home planet, quickly becoming an icon of the environmental movement,” says Ernie Wright, project lead with the Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

EARLIER ‘EARTHRISE’ PHOTO SENT BACK TO THE MOON BY LASER

The visualization clearly shows how Apollo 8 Commander Frank Borman and crew members William A. Anders and James A. Lovell worked together to photograph the stunning scene as their spacecraft orbited the moon on Dec. 24, 1968. The video allows anyone to virtually ride with the astronauts and experience the awe they felt at the vista in front of them.

This is a computer-generated visualization of Earth rising over the lunar horizon, as seen from a window in the Apollo 8 spacecraft. (NASA.gov image)

This is a computer-generated visualization of Earth rising over the lunar horizon, as seen from a window in the Apollo 8 spacecraft. (NASA.gov image)

The new computer-generated visualization was created using data from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft and includes more details than the previous visualization.

“The Earthrise visualization that we released for Earth Day last year really only scratched the surface,” says Wright. “The new visualization tells us not only what time the photos were taken, but also exactly which way the spacecraft was pointing and therefore which window each photo was taken from. This will also be the first time we’ve released a video that’s synchronized with the onboard audio recording of the astronauts.”


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