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Treebeard's Stumper
26 January 2001


This famous photo is one of the most memorable images of our time. It shows the fragile-looking Earth above the lunar horizon as viewed from the Apollo 8 spacecraft during Christmas week in 1968. This was the first time that humans ever orbited another world. The photo is usually titled "Earthrise," and that's what it looks like. The stumper is to understand what this picture really shows. Suppose we were stationed on the Moon's surface with this great view. When would we see the Earth set? How would our view of the Sun and Earth and stars change during our long lunar day?

"Earthrise" photo taken December 24, 1968 by the Apollo 8 crew:
Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders.


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Copyright © 2001 by Marc Kummel /