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Gabriele Bonora

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It was 45 years ago, on December 24, 1968 when Apollo 8 astronauts captured 'Earthrise' – the first color photograph of Earth taken by a person in lunar orbit.

NASA announces a new simulation of the events leading to the creation of 'Earthrise,' one of the iconic photographs of the 20th Century – Earth seen from the moon captured by the crew of Apollo 8.

This new simulation allows anyone to virtually ride with the astronauts and experience the awe they felt at the vista in front of them. Apollo 8 Commander Frank Borman and crew members William A. Anders and James A. Lovell photographed the stunning scene as their spacecraft orbited the moon on December 24, 1968.

The new computer simulation was created using data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, spacecraft and includes details not seen in the previous visualization released last year.

Participants in this Hangout include:
* John Keller, project scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter project
* Ernie Wright, project lead with the Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
* Andrew Chaikin, space historian, author of the book A Man on the Moon

"This will also be the first time we've released a video that's synchronized with the onboard audio recording of the astronauts,", says Ernie Wright. "The new visualization tells us not only what time the photos were taken, but also exactly which way the spacecraft was pointing and therefore which window each photo was taken from."

Earthrise is the cover photo of TIME's Great Images of the 20th Century and is among photos on the cover of LIFE's 100 Photographs That Changed the World. 
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