Half a century ago aboard the Apollo 8 mission, Major William Anders and crew saw something no human before them1 had ever seen; the Earth rising over the moon. Every camera available to these early astronauts was put into use to capture the majesty before them, and they complain to this day that no photo does the sight justice. Our world, home to billions of people, trillions of animals, and countless other life forms, shone brightly against the infinite darkness that is the universe. It’s little wonder this photo has become one of the most recognized images ever created.
Our understanding of the universe and our place in it has evolved quite a bit in the last half-century. What hasn’t changed is people’s reaction to the photo. It’s easy to get wrapped up in our day-to-day life. Earthrise shows us that while our activities are important to some, they are invisible on a planetary scale, let alone anything larger. A humbling realization.
- No human that we know of who has credible evidence, anyway. ↩