by B. N. Sullivan
Behold, our favorite image of Earth -- the 'Blue Marble'. This now-famous photograph was taken on December 7, 1972 by the astronauts of Apollo 17, which was the last manned mission to the moon. The photograph, listed in the Apollo 17 Image Library as AS17-148-22727, is described this way:
A Full Earth from the Apollo 17 Command Module at about 5 hours 6 minutes, shortly after separation of the docked CSM-LM from the S-IVB at 4 hours 45 minutes. Note that the trajectory is far enough south that Antarctica is visible.That simple description belies the stunning impact of this iconic image. If anything can remind us of the interconnectedness -- the oneness -- of the Earth's seas, land masses, and atmosphere, the evocative imagery of the Blue Marble is it!
This Earth Day, regardless of what else you do, we encourage each of you to pause and reflect on the Blue Marble. That's our home -- the only one we'll ever know. Each of us individually, and all of us together, must do whatever we can to look after it.