The Earth from afar: Ten incredible images of our planet from space

Take a look at some stunning images of the Earth that have been snapped over the past five decades, including the latest picture of our world recently taken by the Cassini spacecraft from Saturn.

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The first image of Earth from space
Explorer 6, 1959

Explorer 6

This is the first ever image of Earth taken from space. It was captured by the Explorer 6 satellite on 14 August 1959, from a height of about 27,000 kilometres (17,000 miles). Our capability to image Earth has certainly come a long way since then…

The first full-view of Earth
Apollo 17, 1972

Apollo 17 blue marble

In December 1972, the crew of Apollo 17 took the first ‘Blue Marble’ image of the entire planet Earth as they traveled back from the Moon with the Sun behind them illuminating our world.

Pale Blue Dot
Voyager 1, 1990

Pale Blue Dot

This famous image of the Earth (the small speck of light in the top sunbeam) was taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft from a distance of 6 billion kilometres (3.7 billion miles) at the behest of the late astronomer Carl Sagan, who coined it the ‘Pale Blue Dot’.

Putting our planet in perspective
Galileo, 1992

Voyager 1 1977

This amazing image was taken by the Galileo spacecraft as it flew by the Earth-Moon system on its way to Jupiter in 1992.

The Earth and the Moon together
Messenger, 2011

Messenger 2011

NASA’s Messenger spacecraft took this image of the Earth and Moon from Mercury. The two are so close that they look somewhat like a binary star.

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