"AS11-44-6549" is a historic original NASA photograph capturing a view of Earth from the Command Module Columbia, taken during the Apollo 11 mission, the first manned mission to land on the Moon. The image was taken soon after Acquisition of Signal (AOS) on the sixth lunar orbit revolution (Rev 6).
In this breathtaking photograph, Earth appears as a blue and white sphere, partially obscured by the lunar horizon. This image is one of several that capture the phenomenon known as "Earthrise", where Earth appears to rise over the lunar horizon from the perspective of a spacecraft orbiting the Moon.
From the Moon's perspective, Earth has an angular diameter of about 1.9 degrees. This measures the apparent size of Earth from the Moon, signifying how much of the field of view it takes up.
Between the times that images 6547 and 6549 are taken, Earth rises about 0.37 diameters or approximately 0.7 degrees. With an orbital period of two hours for the Command Module around the Moon, the time interval between the capturing of the two images can be estimated as 14 seconds.
These "Earthrise" images, including "Apollo 11 Earthrise AS11-44-6549", have since become iconic, serving as stark reminders of our planet's beauty, fragility, and isolation in the vast expanse of space. They have also been instrumental in influencing public perception of Earth, underlining the importance of environmental protection and fostering a sense of global unity and stewardship.
The Apollo 11 mission, launched on July 16, 1969, was a historic and groundbreaking spaceflight that marked the first time humans set foot on the moon. Led by commander Neil A. Armstrong, lunar module pilot Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, and command module pilot Michael Collins, the mission achieved the ambitious goal set by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 to land humans on the moon and return them safely to Earth. On July 20, 1969, Armstrong and Aldrin spent over two hours exploring the lunar surface, collecting samples, and conducting experiments, while Collins orbited above in the command module. Armstrong's famous words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," encapsulate the monumental impact of the Apollo 11 mission on human history, as it demonstrated the incredible achievements made possible through scientific innovation, collaboration, and determination.