'Blue Marble': 40 Years On

One of the most famous photographs of all time, 'Blue Marble', taken by the crew of Apollo 17 on December 7, 1972.

" The photographs of 'Earthrise' and of the full Earth as a blue marble suspended in space, fragile and without national boundaries, changed humankind’s view of Earth forever." NASA

" Perhaps the most unexpected consequence of the moon flights was a transformation of attitudes towards Earth itself. Space was indeed beautiful, but it was beauty of a severe, geometrical sort. Planets and stars swept through the cosmos in obedience to Isaac Newton’s mathematical clockwork, a spectacle more likely to inspire awe than love. Earth was a magnificent contrast, a jewel hung in utter darkness, an exuberant riot of chaos and life in a haunting, abyssal emptiness."  The Economist (see First Man on the Moon).