A color photograph of Earth rising over the horizon of the Moon, as seen from the Apollo 8 spacecraft. The Moon's horizon is a dull gray, covering the bottom quarter of the image. Earth, with its blue water and white swirling clouds, is almost at the center of the image. The bottom third of Earth is not visible.NASA NASA astronaut Bill Anders took this iconic image of Earth rising over the Moon’s horizon on Dec. 24, 1968. Anders, lunar module pilot on the Apollo 8 mission, and fellow astronauts Frank Borman and Jim Lovell became the first humans to orbit the Moon and the first to witness the sight pictured.

After becoming a fighter pilot in the Air Force, Anders was selected as an astronaut by NASA. He was backup pilot for the Gemini XI and Apollo 11 flights, and he was lunar module pilot for Apollo 8 – the first lunar orbit mission in December 1968. Anders passed away on June 7, 2024.

Image Credit: NASA

“Earthrise” by NASA Astronaut Bill Anders