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Author Topic:   First color photo of the full earth?
val_space
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posted 06-21-2006 01:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for val_space   Click Here to Email val_space     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Who took the first full globe color photograph of our planet Earth and when? I think it is not the classic photo of apollo 17, some probes must have taken a photo before...
Does anybody know?...

heng44
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posted 06-21-2006 02:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for heng44   Click Here to Email heng44     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I seem to remember something about an unmanned ATS in 1967 or 1968. Could be wrong, though...

Ed

Stephen Clemmons
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posted 06-21-2006 02:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Stephen Clemmons   Click Here to Email Stephen Clemmons     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Does Apollo 8 ring a bell

Robert Pearlman
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posted 06-21-2006 02:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I do not believe Apollo 8 was ever in the position to see the Earth "full" as the term relates to what we call a "full Moon".

Danno
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posted 06-22-2006 09:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Danno   Click Here to Email Danno     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I believe that the first color image of the full earth was taken by the crew of Apollo 17 on their return to Earth. That is the image that is always shown.

I think one of the Voyagers was turned around to snap a photo of the home planet and it just looked like a tiny blue dot. Carl Sagan titled a book after that. (I looked it up, Voyager 1 in 1990)
http://obs.nineplanets.org/psc/pbd.html

MelvinSchuetz
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posted 06-23-2006 10:35 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MelvinSchuetz   Click Here to Email MelvinSchuetz     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ed is correct. The ATS-3 satellite took the first full-disk, color images of the Earth from space, on Nov. 10, 1967.

Ruth Tiedemann
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posted 07-15-2006 07:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ruth Tiedemann   Click Here to Email Ruth Tiedemann     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
However, the question "who took the first..." implies a person rather than an object, so the correct answer is the first full-earth color photograph taken by a human being was taken by Bill Anders on his way to the moon, December 21, 1968.

My husband was one of the team of three scientists (Dick Underwood, Paul Lowman and Herb Tiedemann) who developed the "Synoptic Terrain Photography" project for the Gemini and Apollo programs. They were the pioneers in earth/space photography. They created the experiments, briefed the astronauts and identified and logged the photos when the astronauts returned from their flights.

The photograph was used as the color cover of Herb's article "Angel Eye View of Arizona" for Arizona Highways, in the April, 1969 issue.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-15-2006 09:04 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ruth Tiedemann:
The photograph was used as the color cover of Herb's article "Angel Eye View of Arizona" for Arizona Highways, in the April, 1969 issue.
Mrs. Tiedemann, is this Apollo 8 of the full Earth or a crescent phase (i.e. part of the Earth in shadow)? As I think the original question was specifically in regards to a "complete" or "full" disc Earth.

MCroft04
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posted 07-15-2006 09:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I seem to recall that Jack Schmitt (or Schmidt if you read Jim Irwin's "To Rule the Night"- a piece of trivia I find interesting) claims to have been the first human to take the first full earth color photo on Apollo 17. At any rate I'm pretty sure the first full earth color photo was from Apollo 17. We can ask Jack Tuesday evening at the RocketTown book signing.

Ruth Tiedemann
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posted 07-16-2006 04:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ruth Tiedemann   Click Here to Email Ruth Tiedemann     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It is a photograph of the entire earth -- as full as it can get, Robert.

MCroft, when you see Jack Schmidt, please give him best regards from Herb. Do ask him if he remembers the magazine article -- I know he'll remember Herb.

I am planning to put up a web site with photos, etc. commemorating Herb's work and will scan in the pictures and the article.

FFrench
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posted 07-16-2006 05:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ruth Tiedemann:
It is a photograph of the entire earth -- as full as it can get, Robert.

I'd certainly be interested in seeing perhaps a link to this photo. The shots I have seen taken by Apollo 8 as it left Earth orbit and showed the Earth as a globe are perhaps seven-eighths full Earth, but still part of the Earth in shadow.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:As08-16-2593.jpg

Similar shots were taken by Apollo 10 with even less shadow.
http://ails.arc.nasa.gov/Images/Astrobiology/G69-0487-1.html

But I too was under the belief that the first time an entire lighted Earth was photographed by humans was during Apollo 17 (although even that shot has a tiny amount of shadow on the right edge):
http://www.hq.nasa.gov/office/pao/History/alsj/a17/as17-148-22726.jpg

FFrench
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posted 07-16-2006 05:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have just located an image of the Arizona Highways magazine, and confirmed that it is not a full Earth view - much of the planet is in shadow. Here is the link.

[This message has been edited by FFrench (edited July 16, 2006).]

MCroft04
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posted 07-16-2006 06:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ruth,

Glad you've joined us. You seem to have some experiences that we can all learn from. FF seems to have confirmed that the Apollo 8 shot was not a full earth, but hints that the Apollo 17 shot was not a full earth either. I'll definitely get Jack Schmitt's perspective. Perhaps we're "in the weeds" as they say.

Ken Havekotte
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posted 07-16-2006 06:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually, from my sources, the first full color picture of the full Earth from space took place on July 25, 1967, by a nonmeteorological orbiting satellite named Dodge. Others that Ed and Melvin referred to, such as the ATS Earth-orbiting satellite series and others, came a few months afterwards. In seeing all of the Earth, space explorers would have to fly farther on out to look at the Home Planet from 25,000 miles away. It was in fact moonwalker Jack Schmitt during Apollo 17 in Dec. 1972. He snapped that famous photo showing the Earth as a beautiful blue-green ball with reddish-brown continents and white clouds completely surrounded by the deep blackness of space. Probably more known than Schmitt's full-Earth portrait, of course, would be the very first full-Earth (or perhaps "nearly-full size" in my opinion of 95% or more) view made by a human being had been snapped by the Apollo 8 crew in Dec. 1968. Here is a related triva question;

Does anyone know in what year was the very first recorded or known aerial photograph of the Earth taken?

Robert Pearlman
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posted 07-16-2006 06:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ken Havekotte:
Probably more known than Schmitt's full-Earth portrait, of course, would be the very first full-Earth (or perhaps "nearly-full size" in my opinion of 95% or more) view made by a human being had been snapped by the Apollo 8 crew in Dec. 1968.
Which photograph is that Ken? Do you have a scan or link for that photo?

[This message has been edited by Robert Pearlman (edited July 16, 2006).]

Ken Havekotte
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posted 07-16-2006 07:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ken Havekotte   Click Here to Email Ken Havekotte     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Robert--It wasn't a single photograph frame as I should had pointed out better (my fault), but part of a television transmission. In fact, it was the mission's first live television transmission showing the full Earth disc from Spacecraft #103. It was mid-afternoon at the Cape, just about lunchtime in Houston on Dec. 22, 1968, when Apollo 8 beamed its first TV pictures at the Home Planet. After thirty one hours and twenty minutes into the flight, the Apollo 8 crew showed viewers the whole Earth for the first time on live television: "This transmission is coming to you approximately halfway between the Moon and the Earth...we have about a little less than 40 hours left to go to the Moon...Very, very beautiful!
The Space Agency noted this first-time accomplishment--the first live TV transmission showing the full Earth disc--in their Mission Report publication for Apollo 8 (#MSC6512-69/70). I recall seeing a separate recording view of such an image that came from the onboard television camera, though not the best in quality, and I'll do my best to find that exact image for you.

MCroft04
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posted 07-17-2006 06:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MCroft04   Click Here to Email MCroft04     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ken, what was the quality of the first shots of the earth? The TV transmissions that I recall from Apollo 8 were not that great in quality, although I've not gone back and looked at the Spacecraft Films DVD's.

MarylandSpace
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posted 08-05-2006 09:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for MarylandSpace   Click Here to Email MarylandSpace     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I was just "googling" and there are some neat shots of Earth and it's Moon in the same frame. . . taken from Satellite NEAR and also Mars Global Surveyor (I think).

Also, for those of us who think outside of the taco or those not allowed inside the box, are there early photos taken from observation balloons or early aircraft?

Garry

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