23 Aug '11, 6pm

First image of Earth from Lunar orbit was taken on this date 45 years ago by Lunar Orbiter 1

Long before man journeyed to the moon and looked back at the tiny, fragile planet that houses humanity, remote orbiters were sending back pictures of home. Sent to scope out potential landing sites on the Moon, the series of five Lunar Orbiters also sent back the earliest views of Earth from another celestial body. This image, taken in 1966 by Lunar Orbiter 1, is among the first views of Earth from the Moon. In the black-and-white image, a crescent Earth floats majestically behind the lumpy surface of the Moon. Though clouds swirl across the atmosphere, hiding nearly all identifying features on the surface beneath, the western edge of Africa is faintly visible in the upper left. The Earth's North Pole points toward the top of the image. (For an illustration of Earth’s orientation in the image, see Earth’s orientation. ) When the orbiter sent back the data in 1966, the tech...

Full article: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=35906

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