Just like we see the Moon from Earth, the Earth from nearby space has phases. It rises, and it sets. It goes from a full Earth, through the crescent, into the dark and unseen new Earth. In fact, the phases of the Earth are attuned to the Moon’s phases. They’re always opposite; this means that when you have a full moon, you’ll have a new Earth, and vice versa.
This shot was taken by the crew of Apollo 11 as they were on their way home from the Moon.
Bill Anders of the first Moon flyby on Apollo 8, may have put it best: “We came all this way to explore the Moon…and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth.”
Similarly, Jim Lovell (of Apollo 8 & Apollo 13) states: “We learned a lot about the Moon, but what we really learned was about the Earth. The fact that, just from the distance of the Moon you can put your thumb up and you can hide the Earth behind your thumb. Everything that you’ve ever known, your loved ones, your business, the problems of the Earth itself—all behind your thumb. And how insignificant we really all are, but then how fortunate we are to have this body and to be able to enjoy living here amongst the beauty of the Earth itself.”
And Anousheh Ansari, who flew to the International Space Station last year: “If people can see Earth from up here, see it without those borders, see it without any differences in race or religion, they would have a completely different perspective. Because when you see it from that angle, you cannot think of your home or your country. All you can see is one Earth….”
What do you think—if you saw the Earth from space, do you think it might change your outlook on things? How do you think it might affect you?
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