7 of the most iconic photos of Earth taken from space

This classic photograph of Earth was taken on December 7, 1972 by the Apollo 17 crew.NASA

  • It wasn’t until 1946 that humans first saw what the Earth looked like from space.

  • These iconic images of our planet now include ‘Blue Marble’, ‘Pale Blue Dot’ and ‘Earthrise’.

  • The farthest is from the Voyager 1 spacecraft, which captured Earth from 3.7 billion miles away.

The first photo of Earth from space, taken just 65 miles above our planet

first photo from space earth 1946

The first shot of Earth from space captured by a camera at an altitude of 65 miles, just above the edge of spaceUS Army White Sands Missile Range/Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory

On October 24, 1946, 11 years before the launch of Sputnik I, a 35mm movie camera aboard a V-2 rocket captured a grainy black-and-white photo of Earth. It is the first image of our planet from space.

The image was taken at an altitude of 65 miles, just above the Karman Line, which is the boundary between the atmosphere and outer space.

No astronauts were aboard the rocket: the camera automatically took a photo every 1.5 seconds. The film miraculously survived the planned missile landing.

The first television image from space, taken 450 miles above the Earth

Image taken on April 1, 1960 by TIROS 1. This was the first television image of the Earth from space.

Image taken on April 1, 1960 by TIROS 1. This was the first television image of the Earth from space.NASA

On April 1, 1960, the Infrared and Television Observing Satellite or TIROS-1, the world’s first successful weather satellite, sent back the first television image of the Earth from space. The image revealed a blurry image of the thick bands and cloud clusters of our earthly home.

The “Blue Marble”, carried 18,000 miles away from Earth

blue marble earth nasa

This classic photograph of Earth was taken on December 7, 1972 by the Apollo 17 crew.NASA

The “Blue Marble” is an image of Earth taken on December 7, 1972 as the Apollo 17 crew made their way to the moon. It’s a detailed image of our planet, against the inky black void of space. Africa and Madagascar can be seen in the frame, along with the Arabian Peninsula and Antarctica.

It prompted astronauts to experience the “panoramic effect,” which NASA describes as: “the impact of looking down on Earth and how it can create a shift in the way astronauts see and think about our planet and the life itself”.

The “Earthrise” as the Earth peeks over the moon, taken 175,000 miles from the planet’s surface

A view of Earth from the moon captured by Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders in 1968.NASA

On December 24, 1968, Apollo 8 astronauts witnessed an “Earthrise” as our planet peered over the rugged lunar surface.

“We came all the way here to explore the moon, and most importantly we discovered the Earth,” said astronaut Bill Anders, who took the photograph, according to NASA.

Orion takes a snapshot of the Earth and Moon from 268,563 miles away

spaceship with nasa logo in black space with moon and earth in the distance

Orion, the moon and the Earth as the spaceship reaches its furthest point from our planet.NASA

On Nov. 28, NASA shared a photo taken by the Artemis I spacecraft showing both the Earth and the Moon in the background. Orion took the snapshot around its furthest distance from Earth by 268,563 miles.

Artemis I is the first mission in NASA’s program to land astronauts on the moon and eventually Mars.

Earth, seen from the dark side of Saturn, 898 million miles away

Earth and moon from Saturn's Cassini spacecraft

The Earth and Moon from Saturn’s Cassini spacecraft, taken on July 19, 2013.NASA/JPL-Caltech/Institute of Space Sciences

The Cassini spacecraft took a picture of Earth from the dark side of Saturn on July 19, 2013. The picture is called “The Day the Earth Smiled” because of a campaign to make Earthlings smile in a vacuum in unison.

“This could be a day, I thought, when everyone on Earth, in unison, could let out a full-throated cosmic cry and smile big for the cameras from far, far away,” Carolyn Porco, the leader of the Cassini’s imaging team that masterminded the photoshoot, wrote in June 2013.

An iconic image of our ‘pale blue dot’, taken 3.7 billion miles away

original pale blue dot photo

The “Pale Blue Dot,” a photograph of Earth taken on February 14, 1990 by NASA’s Voyager 1 at a distance of 3.7 billion miles from the sun.NASA/JPL-Caltech

On February 14, 1990, the Voyager 1 spacecraft captured the “Pale Blue Dot” image from nearly 4 billion miles away.

It’s an iconic image of Earth within a beam of diffused sunlight, and it’s the farthest view of Earth ever taken from a spacecraft.

“Look at that spot again. It’s here. It’s home. It’s us,” said astronomer Carl Sagan. She said.

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