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Matinee: 'Earthrise' Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

23 April 2022

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 445th in our series of Saturday matinees today: Earthrise.

Produced, directed and edited by Jessica and Steve Agnos, this three-minute edit of NASA Apollo archival stock footage shows us what happened in December 1968 when astronauts Bill Anders, mission commander Frank Borman and Jim Lovell were orbiting the moon as the earth rose over the horizon.

They had been capturing black-and-white images of the surface of the moon automatically every 20 seconds when the marvelous sight of the earthrise appeared out a window.

Anders saw it first. Borman joked not to take the shot because it wasn't in the schedule. But that didn't stop him from taking the first photo of earth by a human being from the moon. It was a black-and-white capture, though.

Anders quickly asked for a roll of the custom 70mm Ektachrome film for the modified Hasselblad 500 EL with a 250mm lens. Borman rummaged around. "Just grab me a color," Anders said urgently, "a color exterior. Hurry up." Lovell couldn't find one either.

"We missed it," Anders reported.

But Lovell spotted it again from another window on the spacecraft. "I've got it right here!" he told his crew mates.

Lovell was excited but Anders had to set the camera up for the color film: 1/250 second at f11. "Calm down, Lovell," he said.

Lovell advised him to vary the exposure "a little bit." But Anders had, taking more than one shot.

The image that became famous on earth was rotated 95 degrees clockwise.

The video, posted yesterday on Earth Day by Astronomers for Planet Earth, ends with the note that every day is Earth Day. So we thought it couldn't hurt to see it the day after.

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