Fifty years ago today, on December 24, 1968, NASA astronaut William Anders, a member of the three-person Apollo 8 crew then orbiting the moon, took the photograph above, which later came to be known as "Earthrise." It was the first time such a view of Earth had been documented by humans in space. As Anders later recounted:
"And up came the Earth. We had had no discussion on the ground, no briefing, no instructions on what to do. I jokingly said, 'well it's not on the flight plan,' and the other two guys were yelling at me to give them cameras. I had the only color camera with a long lens. So I floated a black and white over to [Frank] Borman. I can't remember what [James] Lovell got. They were all yelling for cameras, and we started snapping away."The iconic photo is available from NASA's website; NASA has also just released a new video describing the world's first mission to orbit the moon: "Apollo 8: Around the Moon and Back."