From the moment mankind became humanity, emerging awareness directed our gaze toward night skies. Primal awakening responsible for cosmic wonder was evolution’s gift, the catalyst for language, science and technology. The cosmos gave us mythology and ritual, made sense of time and seasons. It begged us to accept unfathomable possibilities, to open eyes and imagination to something that just was.
We tried to fathom our herculean universe, struggled to find a frame of reference – then one day, we caught sight of ourselves. From that moment on nothing would ever be the same.
View of Earth from a camera on V-2 #13, launched October 24, 1946. (White Sands Missile Range/Applied Physics Laboratory)
Earth seen from moon via Apollo 8 astronauts in 1968. Image via NASA
First image of Earth and Moon in a single frame. Taken in 1977 by NASA’s Voyager 1, 11..66 million kilometers from Earth.
Apollo 17 Mission Commander Eugene A. Cernan on lunar surface, 1972.
First image of Earth and Moon taken from the surface of another planet – MGS (Mars Global Surveyor) 2003. MGS wasn’t capable of colorized images, a Mariner 10 Earth/Moon image from 1973 was used to colorize image.
The “Pale Blue Dot” ( halfway down the image in the brown band to the right) planet Earth captured by Voyager 1 in 1990. About to leave our solar system, at the request of Carl Sagan NASA directed Voyager 1 to turn around and take one last photograph of Earth from a distance of 6 billion kilometers.