The Overview Effect: Seeing Earth For the 1st Time

"The Blue Marble" is a famous photograph of the Earth taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft en route to the Moon at a distance of about 29,000 kilometres (18,000 mi). It shows Africa, Antarctica, and the Arabian Peninsula.

“The Blue Marble” is a famous photograph of the Earth taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17 spacecraft.

A short, yet stunning documentary about the surreal experiences of astronauts seeing Earth for the first time from space. Known as the Overview Effect, the experience leaves most who witness it changed forever. This documentary was produced in 2013 by the Planetary Collective on the 40th anniversary of the famous ‘Blue Marble’ photograph, the first photograph of Earth taken from space.

The photo (above) is largely considered the first “Earth Family Portrait”, capturing the entire world in one shot. Many have referenced this moment as the beginning of globalization and an understanding of the interconnected nature of the planet.

OVERVIEW from Planetary Collective on Vimeo.

“The Overview Effect, first described by author Frank White in 1987, is an experience that transforms astronauts’ perspective of the planet and mankind’s place upon it. Common features of the experience are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.”


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