NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter lets you watch Earthrise

One of the most iconic images ever taken by an Apollo mission is called "Earthrise" and was snapped by Apollo 8 on December 24, 1968. The Apollo 8 spacecraft was in orbit around the moon with its little window facing the surface of the moon when the ship was rotated and the astronauts looked up and became the first humans in history to view the Earthrise on the moon.

NASA has re-created what the astronauts on Apollo 8 saw as the earth rose over the horizon of the moon. The animation is overlaid with the actual radio transmissions from Apollo 8 when they were taking the photos. It's very interesting to hear what the astronauts said as they viewed that site for the first time in human history.

The photo was taken on Apollo 8's fourth orbit of the moon at a distance of about 68 miles above the surface. The digital re-creation of the event was reconstructed from orbit software using coordinates from the Apollo 8 mission and photographs taken by the crew. The contours of the moon were rendered using high-resolution topography data gathered by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter laser altimeter. The photo above is the actual photo from 1968 in color.

[via NASA]