Space

A pictorial history of Earth from space

A pictorial history of Earth f...
Another iconic "Earthrise" image taken in 1968
Another iconic "Earthrise" image taken in 1968
View 45 Images
The first pictures showing Earth against the blackness of space came in the late 1940s
1/45
The first pictures showing Earth against the blackness of space came in the late 1940s
This grainy image is from 1946 and is officially the first image of Earth taken from space
2/45
This grainy image is from 1946 and is officially the first image of Earth taken from space
Taken in 1984, this image shows an astronaut taking one of the furthest spacewalks ever attempted traveling 320 ft (98 m) away from the spacecraft
3/45
Taken in 1984, this image shows an astronaut taking one of the furthest spacewalks ever attempted traveling 320 ft (98 m) away from the spacecraft
The famous "Blue Marble" photograph. Captured by the Apollo 17 crew in 1972, this was the first full shot of an illuminated globe
4/45
The famous "Blue Marble" photograph. Captured by the Apollo 17 crew in 1972, this was the first full shot of an illuminated globe
Captured by Apollo 10 crew in 1969
5/45
Captured by Apollo 10 crew in 1969
Another iconic "Earthrise" image taken in 1968
6/45
Another iconic "Earthrise" image taken in 1968
The first "Earthrise" image captured in 1966
7/45
The first "Earthrise" image captured in 1966
As a tribute to the iconic early "Earthrise" images, NASA captured this updated version in 2009
8/45
As a tribute to the iconic early "Earthrise" images, NASA captured this updated version in 2009
A variation on the "Earthrise" image with the Apollo 11 lunar module in the foreground. Taken July 11, 1969
9/45
A variation on the "Earthrise" image with the Apollo 11 lunar module in the foreground. Taken July 11, 1969
This is the first picture of the Earth and the Moon in a single frame taken by Voyager 1 in 1977
10/45
This is the first picture of the Earth and the Moon in a single frame taken by Voyager 1 in 1977
This composite image is known as Blue Marble 2012 and was released by NASA in tribute to the original Blue Marble image
11/45
This composite image is known as Blue Marble 2012 and was released by NASA in tribute to the original Blue Marble image
From 2012, this image is known as the "Black Marble" and shows North and South America at night
12/45
From 2012, this image is known as the "Black Marble" and shows North and South America at night
These stunning, and real, images were taken when the Moon passed between Earth and the DSCOVR imaging camera in 2016
13/45
These stunning, and real, images were taken when the Moon passed between Earth and the DSCOVR imaging camera in 2016
These stunning, and real, images were taken when the Moon passed between Earth and the DSCOVR imaging camera in 2016
14/45
These stunning, and real, images were taken when the Moon passed between Earth and the DSCOVR imaging camera in 2016
These stunning, and real, images were taken when the Moon passed between Earth and the DSCOVR imaging camera in 2016
15/45
These stunning, and real, images were taken when the Moon passed between Earth and the DSCOVR imaging camera in 2016
The shadow of a total solar eclipse crossing over the Earth in 2016
16/45
The shadow of a total solar eclipse crossing over the Earth in 2016
The shadow of a total solar eclipse crossing over the Earth in 2016
17/45
The shadow of a total solar eclipse crossing over the Earth in 2016
The shadow of a total solar eclipse crossing over the Earth in 2016
18/45
The shadow of a total solar eclipse crossing over the Earth in 2016
Captured by NASA's Near Asteroid Rendezvous spacecraft in 1998, this composite image shows the Earth and the Moon
19/45
Captured by NASA's Near Asteroid Rendezvous spacecraft in 1998, this composite image shows the Earth and the Moon
In 2003, a craft on its way to Mars captured this image of the Earth and Moon from a distance of 8 million kilometers
20/45
In 2003, a craft on its way to Mars captured this image of the Earth and Moon from a distance of 8 million kilometers
This image was taken in 2014 from a Chinese orbiter looking at the Earth from the dark side of the Moon
21/45
This image was taken in 2014 from a Chinese orbiter looking at the Earth from the dark side of the Moon
Taken in 2007, this image was snapped by an orbiter on its way to Mars
22/45
Taken in 2007, this image was snapped by an orbiter on its way to Mars
Earth captured by Rosetta in 2009
23/45
Earth captured by Rosetta in 2009
Moonrise over the Pacific taken by Rosetta in 2005
24/45
Moonrise over the Pacific taken by Rosetta in 2005
This image is known as the "Pale Blue Dot" and shows the Earth from the furthest vantage point ever – 3.7 billion miles away
25/45
This image is known as the "Pale Blue Dot" and shows the Earth from the furthest vantage point ever – 3.7 billion miles away
Another view of the Pale Blue Dot – Earth is the bright dot along the middle right
26/45
Another view of the Pale Blue Dot – Earth is the bright dot along the middle right
In 2013 Cassini captured this image of Earth from Saturn. Our planet is the small bright dot in the center
27/45
In 2013 Cassini captured this image of Earth from Saturn. Our planet is the small bright dot in the center
Another shot of Earth by Cassini through Saturn's rings
28/45
Another shot of Earth by Cassini through Saturn's rings
This image of Earth was taken from Mercury – 61 million miles away
29/45
This image of Earth was taken from Mercury – 61 million miles away
In its way to Jupiter, Juno snapped this image of Earth from 6 million miles away
30/45
In its way to Jupiter, Juno snapped this image of Earth from 6 million miles away
Some of the most spectacular Earth images in recent years have come from skilled astronauts on the International Space Station
31/45
Some of the most spectacular Earth images in recent years have come from skilled astronauts on the International Space Station
Some of the most spectacular Earth images in recent years have come from skilled astronauts on the International Space Station
32/45
Some of the most spectacular Earth images in recent years have come from skilled astronauts on the International Space Station
Some of the most spectacular Earth images in recent years have come from skilled astronauts on the International Space Station
33/45
Some of the most spectacular Earth images in recent years have come from skilled astronauts on the International Space Station
Some of the most spectacular Earth images in recent years have come from skilled astronauts on the International Space Station
34/45
Some of the most spectacular Earth images in recent years have come from skilled astronauts on the International Space Station
Some of the most spectacular Earth images in recent years have come from skilled astronauts on the International Space Station
35/45
Some of the most spectacular Earth images in recent years have come from skilled astronauts on the International Space Station
Some of the most spectacular Earth images in recent years have come from skilled astronauts on the International Space Station
36/45
Some of the most spectacular Earth images in recent years have come from skilled astronauts on the International Space Station
NASA astronaut Donald Pettit was one of the most skilled photographers to spend time on the ISS
37/45
NASA astronaut Donald Pettit was one of the most skilled photographers to spend time on the ISS
NASA astronaut Donald Pettit was one of the most skilled photographers to spend time on the ISS
38/45
NASA astronaut Donald Pettit was one of the most skilled photographers to spend time on the ISS
NASA astronaut Donald Pettit was one of the most skilled photographers to spend time on the ISS
39/45
NASA astronaut Donald Pettit was one of the most skilled photographers to spend time on the ISS
NASA astronaut Donald Pettit was one of the most skilled photographers to spend time on the ISS
40/45
NASA astronaut Donald Pettit was one of the most skilled photographers to spend time on the ISS
NASA astronaut Donald Pettit was one of the most skilled photographers to spend time on the ISS
41/45
NASA astronaut Donald Pettit was one of the most skilled photographers to spend time on the ISS
NASA astronaut Donald Pettit took some compelling time-lapse images from the ISS
42/45
NASA astronaut Donald Pettit took some compelling time-lapse images from the ISS
NASA astronaut Donald Pettit took some compelling time-lapse images from the ISS
43/45
NASA astronaut Donald Pettit took some compelling time-lapse images from the ISS
NASA astronaut Donald Pettit took some compelling time-lapse images from the ISS
44/45
NASA astronaut Donald Pettit took some compelling time-lapse images from the ISS
NASA astronaut Donald Pettit took some compelling time-lapse images from the ISS
45/45
NASA astronaut Donald Pettit took some compelling time-lapse images from the ISS

Over the past 70 years there has been a stunning assortment of images of our home planet taken from space. Take a trip through the history of Earth photography in our gallery, from the first "Earthrise" images, to a look at our precious planet from the outermost reaches of our solar system.

In 1946, a group of scientists sent a rocket hurtling up into the atmosphere. With a 35mm camera strapped to it, the rocket reached an altitude of 65 miles (105 km) and treated humanity to the first ever pictures of our planet taken from space. These images were taken at an altitude five times higher than any previously photographed.

The first pictures showing Earth against the blackness of space came in the late 1940s
The first pictures showing Earth against the blackness of space came in the late 1940s

Hundreds of images were taken over the next few years using similar methods, but it wasn't until the 1960s that we obtained our first ever glimpse of Earth from the Moon. This famous image was dubbed "Earthrise" and several variations on the theme were captured over subsequent years.

The first "Earthrise" image captured in 1966
The first "Earthrise" image captured in 1966

As the 1960s progressed we saw several images of Earth coming from the Apollo missions, including some stunning shots of our globe, but the most influential arrived in 1972. Taken by the crew of the Apollo 17 mission, the image became known as "The Blue Marble" and is one of the most reproduced and well-known images in human history.

The Blue Marble image has been recaptured on several occasions over the years with NASA most recently delivering 2012 updates including what they call "The Black Marble" - an image of the dark side of the Earth illuminated by city lights.

From 2012, this image is known as the "Black Marble" and shows North and South America at night
From 2012, this image is known as the "Black Marble" and shows North and South America at night

Over the years, as we have traveled further and further afield, images of the Earth have been captured from great distances. We have snapped our blue planet through the rings of Saturn and from Mercury. One of the furthest images ever captured of Earth is known as "The Pale Blue Dot". The image was taken in 1990 by Voyager 1 from a distance of 3.7 billion miles away.

More recently, some compelling images of our planet have been captured from strange and new vantage points. Most striking are some of the photographs from the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite. The imaging satellite captured amazing pictures of the dark side of the Moon, illuminated as it crossed between the satellite and the Earth. The craft also captured some compelling imagery of a solar eclipse crossing our globe.

These stunning, and real, images were taken when the Moon passed between Earth and the DSCOVR imaging camera in 2016
These stunning, and real, images were taken when the Moon passed between Earth and the DSCOVR imaging camera in 2016

Astronauts on the International Space Station have also been capturing some stunning photographs of our planet over the last few years. From bizarre psychedelic time-lapse images to fascinating night shots we still are finding new and transformative ways of looking at our precious blue globe.

Click through for a spectacular trip through the history of photographing Earth from space.

0 comments
There are no comments. Be the first!