The Moon in Your Life
Once, just over 50 years ago, I was one of the first human beings to ever see the moon up close. Orbiting the moon, I was struck by its battered bleakness. Then we rolled the spacecraft and suddenly the Earth came into view—the only spot of color in the immense black backdrop of space, at once beautiful and fragile—and I snapped a photograph now known as “Earthrise.” That moment changed the way I see both the Earth and the moon.
The sun lights our days and separates our days from our nights. It is not always present, yet when it is, we never fail to notice it. The sun’s influence is strongly felt wherever we are. The moon, on the other hand, is the opposite. It appears in the sky both day and night, perhaps as a faint sliver in the morning light (as it was just before I launched in 1968) or as a full disc that casts a glow in the darkness.
Our moon is a more constant presence than the sun, and yet the moon often goes unnoticed. We tend to take our moon and its influence upon our Earth (like the tides) for granted. Perhaps we could notice it for a change.
For this assignment, I ask you to photograph the moon in your everyday life. Not by taking close-up photographs as I did from lunar orbit, of course! I want you to capture the moon as it appears in the middle of everything else happening around you. Photograph the moon’s effects on our planet or its sometimes unnoticed presence in our busy world.