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The Earthrise Photo of 1968

"The boundary between space and the earth is purely arbitrary. And I'll probably always be interested in this planet - it's my favorite."

~ Carl Sagan (1934-1996)

Considered one of the most influential environmental and inspirational photographs ever taken, this photo was taken from the lunar orbit of the Apollo 8 by astronaut William Anders on the 24th of December 1968, and was only made possible by a collaborative effort by all three NASA crew members. 🌍

By designer Steven Patrick Sim, this tartan commemorates the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 8 "Earthrise" photograph, taken from lunar orbit by astronaut William Anders on 24th December 1968, and was only made possible by a collaborative effort by all three Nasa crew members. The tartan celebrates the colour image which has been reckoned as one of the most influential environmental photographs ever taken.

Apollo 8 was the first manned voyage to orbit the Moon.

The geometry of the tartan depicts the Earth rising above the Moon's horizon. The numbers of threads of each colour have numerical significance: 10 dark blue threads pays tribute to the reading aloud of Genesis 1 verses 1-10 as read on the mission; 68 black threads for the year 1968. The 3 black stripes pay tribute to the crew: Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot James Lovell and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders. The tartan's 6 colours and thread count of 147 threads recognise the mission length of 6 days, or 147 hours.  The colours represent the Earth, Space and the Moon.


The photograph was taken from lunar orbit on December 24, 1968, with a highly modified Hasselblad 500 EL with an electric drive, loaded with custom Ektachrome film developed by Kodak. An audio recording of the photographic event is available with transcription (excerpt):

Anders: Oh my God! Look at that picture over there! There's the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty.

Borman: Hey, don't take that, it's not scheduled. (joking)
Anders: (laughs) You got a color film, Jim?
Hand me that roll of color quick, would you...
Lovell: Oh man, that's great!

For the most recent high resolution "earthrise" photo from NASA, click the original.