70 years of viewing Earth from space

70 years of viewing Earth from space

Few images can compare to the beauty of Earth from space, especially some of the colorful ones that we have access to today.  They weren't always so pretty though.  The first image of Earth from space (pictured below) was taken 70 years ago from the top of a V-2 rocket, according to an article on forbes.com.

Image Credit: U.S. Army/White Sands Missile Range/Applied Physics Laboratory

The images taken by the V-2 rockets really exposed the Earth's curvature as well as the darkness of space.

During the 1960s, satellites were placed in space, primarily to observe the weather.  This brought about an even wider perspective of what the Earth looked like from space, as can be seen below.

Image: Nimbus 1 satellite showing Hurricane Gladys. Credit: NASA/E. Siegel (post-processing)

As technology allowed us to travel farther into space, the pictures were able to show more of the Earth.  An entire hemisphere was captured by the DODGE satellite, which was the first color image of Earth from space, pictured below.

Image credit: Department of Defense

One of the most famous pictures of Earth from space, Earthrise, was taken by the Apollo 8 crew in 1968, as can be seen below.

Photo Credit: NASA

In 1972 the Apollo 17 crew snapped what is known as the "blue marble."

Image Credit: NASA

The details and colors have continued to improve over the decades.  Pictured below are composite images taken in 2001-2002.  They were made using NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data.

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