Vibrant images of our planet are common now, but it was only 70 years ago when we first caught a glimpse of Earth from a height of more than 100 miles. Watch a history of photographing Earth, from the first captured German rockets to iconic images like Earthrise and the Pale Blue Dot.
This video was reproduced with permission and was first published on March 16, 2017. It is a Nature Video production.
For centuries, we could glimpse the curvature of Earth from mountain peaks but the only way to ‘see’ our planet whole was through globes and maps. Then our world view changed. Not long after the end of World War II, scientists began experimenting with captured German V-2 rockets. They replaced the V-2 warheads with cameras and launched the rockets into near-Earth orbit, capturing the first images of Earth from space. These became the first in a series of iconic portraits that changed our relationship with our planet. In this Nature Video we celebrate these awe-inspiring images, including Earthrise, The Blue Marble, Pale Blue Dot and more.