24 December 2018 will represent the 50th anniversary of the ‘Earthrise’ image. Astronauts aboard Apollo 8 captured this spectacular photo of Earth rising above the lunar horizon as they emerged from behind the dark side of the Moon.
Earthrise is one of the most profound images in the history of human culture. It changed our perception of our place in space and fuelled environmental awareness around the world.
The photo enabled people to see our planet from a distance for the first time. The living Earth, surrounded by the darkness of space, appears fragile and vulnerable, with finite resources. Earthrise is linked to many popular concepts developed over the past 50 years, including sustainability and Gaia theory (which suggests that the Earth is a self-regulating complex system that helps to maintain and perpetuate the conditions for life).
As astronaut Jim Lovell said during a live broadcast from Apollo 8, ‘the vast loneliness is awe-inspiring and it makes you realise just what you have back there on Earth’.
In Australia, we’re celebrating this amazing photo and significant milestone in human history.
Image credit: NASA/ Bill Anders
‘Earthrise’ – Looking Back On Our Planet
15 November 2018, 7PM – 8:30PM
The Royal Society of Victoria, 8 La Trobe Street, Melbourne
Come join an interdisciplinary panel to reflect on “Earthrise” and the progress – or otherwise – we have made as an Earth-bound species in the intervening half century. Tickets and more information.