It’s a 21st-century version of the famous “Earthrise” photo taken by Apollo 8 astronaut Bill Anders in 1968: our brilliant blue world rising above the craters of the moon captured by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter on Feb. 1, 2014.
The orbiter only occasionally has its camera — the LROC — pointed away from the moon in order to calibrate its position and obtain views of the lunar limb. During these rare events, Earth can pass through the field of view of the wide-angle camera (WAC), allowing for dramatic views like the one seen here.
Assembled from a combination of images acquired in various wavelengths of light, the result is a near true-color picture as it would appear to our eyes — including the relative brightness and vivid hues of the Earth, 217,000 miles (349,000 km) away. (The moon was at perigee the day before the images were taken.) Via Moon Orbiter Captures Stunning 21st Century ‘Earthrise’