You need to upgrade your Flash Player The theme of this blog is not only and obviously space, but in particular “terrestrial worlds”, places that tend to have surfaces on which one could walk or at least attach oneself to. These places sometimes also have other earth-like familiar features such as atmospheres, weather, volcanos, geysers and perhaps, we are finding, even exotic oceans, rivers or lakes that are not necessarily made of familiar materials we are used to here at home. The second theme is imagery. Occasionally I do some retouching of images when needed if an image is incomplete or sometimes “dirty” or noisy. I will attempt to correct image shortcomings based upon other images or well-accepted presumed attributes. When this is done, notes will be offered as to what was added, why and sometimes how it was done. This way no one should ever wonder if something they are looking at is real or photoshop.

Wallpaper: Looking Back at Earth

Wallpaper: Lunar Look Back
Trying to get some decent Apollo images on here from time to time. So many of these images are so often seen that I want to focus on the ones that really are great but are rarely seen.

Actual WallpaperSeeing the size of Earth as it really appears from the surface of the moon reminds me of this wallpaper that I grew up with in my room as a child. I always assumed it was an actual image, but in reality the Earth appears about 1/20 the size and Earth would never phase in shadow from north to south under any circumstance! (I missed that obvious flaw as pointed out by Paul Neave). I beleive they still sell this wallpaper as I still see it around occasionally at stores and other public spaces (no pun). In addition to this image, you also see the Earth from moon shots taken while in- moon-orbit which also gives the Earth a far larger appearance… but I suspect that some good zoom lenses were likely utilized to get those looks as well.

4 Responses to “Wallpaper: Looking Back at Earth”

  1. Gordan Says:

    Yeah, I’m very fond of those look-back-at-Earth images myself. It appears small in normal photographs, but you know it’s 4 times the diameter of a full moon. And much, much brighter. Normal cameras just can’t capture that. They do capture the insignificance of our planet very well, though. Also it must have felt weird to be that far from your home world to the astronauts. Amazing

    When you realize that New Horizons is about to pass by Jupiter and just outside of Callisto’s orbit you’d think Jupiter would look enormous in its windshield. It’s actually going to be only as large as a golf ball held at arm’s length - not THAT impressive when you consider how big of an impact on the trajectory it will get.

  2. thomas Says:

    I was thinking 4x as large as I remember that is the Earth to moon size ratio, but i wasn’t sure and didn’t have time to fact check as I was going out the door to bring my daughter to dance class. Human activities… you know. Naturally if the moon is 4x smaller than Earth, then Earth would appear 4x larger than the moon does here, when standing on the moon.

    Perception in funny too though… the moon seems bigger to look at with your eyes, but when you notice it in regular pictures it seems to be so much smaller than in does in your mind’s eye.

  3. Paul Neave Says:

    It’s a great shot — if you look at the Earth closely you can just about make out a muddy-brown Australia amid the Pacific Ocean.

    It’s also striking to see how black the night side of the Earth is, just like when we look up at the moon we rarely see the dark side of it. Most computer-generated shots always over compensate and brighten up the dark side (or show yellow street lights) to make it look more whole, but in reality it’s just as dark as the night sky, so we see a crescent Earth.

    Oh and the shadow on your wallpaper image is in the completely wrong position, it’s covering the south pole! Silly artists…

  4. thomas Says:

    oh yeah… that wallpaper (meaning real wallpaper on an actual wall) is altogether silly. scale and shadow… all wrong. i looked at that for 10+ years always thinking how overwhelming that would be to see earth that large in the sky. ha.

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