Cosmic Canvas: 43 Years of the Blue Marble

You are here. Photo by Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans and Jack Schmit/NASA

Today marks the 43rd anniversary of 1972's iconic "blue marble" photograph, snapped by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft -- the final Apollo mission, actually. Either Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans or Jack Schmit took the photo en route to the moon (NASA credits all three). at a a distance of about 45,000 kilometers (28,000 miles). It's a rare photo, one of the few to show such a highly-illuminated Earth disk, as a photographer must position the sun directly behind them to capture the shot.

Thanks to Joe for bringing this to my attention!

About the Author: Robert Lamb spent his childhood reading books and staring into the woods — first in Newfoundland, Canada and then in rural Tennessee. There was also a long stretch in which he was terrified of alien abduction. He earned a degree in creative writing. He taught high school and then attended journalism school. He wrote for the smallest of small-town newspapers before finally becoming a full-time science writer and podcaster. He’s currently a senior writer at HowStuffWorks and has co-hosted the science podcast Stuff to Blow Your Mind since its inception in 2010. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife Bonnie, discussing dinosaurs with his son Bastian and crafting the occasional work of fiction.