first ever earth rise, taken on day 4, courtesy of NASA.
When most people think of the first photograph of the earth rising over the surface of the moon, the first earth rise, they think of the now famous NASA colour photograph at the bottom of this post. It became a potent symbol of the earth as celestial body, "Spaceship earth" as it was named, as much so as the famous blue marble picture of the earth. The real first earth rise picture is, in fact, the black and white one above.
In December of 1968 Apollo 8 circled the moon 10 times, on board, astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders watched as the earth begins to rise from the far horizon. This is a transcript of the conversation that followed.
075:47:30 Anders or Borman (onboard): Oh, my God! Look at that picture over there! Here's the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty!
075:47:37 Borman or Anders (onboard): Hey, don't take that, it's not scheduled.
This is recorded as the black and white picture above, the first ever earth rise picture. The astronauts then go on to take a series of colour photographs including the now famous colour picture below. The first photograph however remains the black and white exposure taken in sheer awe of the view.
Further information can be found at the Apollo Apollo 8 Flight Journal
and at the NASA homepage http://www.nasa.gov/home/
Transcribed copies of the conversations on the Apollo Journal are © 2002 - 2006. W. David Woods and Frank O'Brien.