October 24 – First Planetary Selfie

Posted October 24, 2018

I love David Brin's "uplift universe" books.
I often enjoy science fiction, and in far-flung tales of galactic proportions, brimming full of all manner of aliens, all people feel kinship with one another. We're not just all humans, we're all Earthlings, and some sci-fi has humans gallivanting around the galaxy with technologically-savvy chimpanzees and dolphins!

So for Earthling humans to take a photo of the Earth - I'm going to call that the biggest selfie ever!

In order to capture even a substantial fraction of the Earth in one photo - and especially in order to capture the Earth's curvature - you have to take a photo from outer space.

And today is the anniversary of the first from-outer-space selfies. 

On this date in 1946, a V-2 rocket launched from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico reached at maximum altitude of 65 miles. And the DeVry 35-mm black-and-white motion picture camera attached to the rocket managed to take this famous photo of the Earth from space: 

Of course, humans have taken loads more and better photos of Earth from space since then. Here are a few gorgeous ones:

To see a series of photos as the Moon crossed
the dazzling Earth, check out this YouTube video.
This doesn't look like a photo of Earth - but Earth is an
identifiable dot almost hidden by one of Saturn's rings.

Of course, there are those classic Earth-from-Moon pix!
And you don't have to have a national space program to take photos of Earth from space! This school and this father-and-son team both launched iPhones to space with weather balloons.

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