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Earthrise at Christmas, from lunar orbit aboard the Apollo 8 spacecraft, December 1968.

Forty-two years ago this Christmas, a turbulent world looked to the heavens for a unique view of our home planet. This photo of "Earthrise" was made by Bill Anders of the Apollo 8 crew in December 1968. It was the first ever photo made by a human showing Earth as it appears from deep space over the horizon of another world, forever changing the human perspective of our home planet.

Astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders had become the first humans to leave Earth orbit, entering lunar orbit on Christmas Eve. In a historic live broadcast that night, the crew took turns reading from the Book of Genesis, closing with a holiday wish from Commander Borman: "We close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you -- all of you on the good Earth."

NASA, photo by William Anders

15:34 23 April 2010