8. Juni 2024

Photographer of “Earthrise” died in a plane crash. His picture changed our perception of planet Earth

The photographer of “Earthrise” is dead. Astronaut William Anders was killed in a plane crash. I had used his famous photo Earthrise as a reference in an essay some time ago. RIP

“Earthrise” is the name of the NASA photo AS8-14-2383HR taken on December 24, 1968 by astronaut William Anders during the Apollo flight. It is undoubtedly one of the photos that has profoundly changed and shaped our perception of our planet and our place in the universe. Anders’ photo taken with a Hasselblad-500 camera makes it immediately sensually clear that the Earth is a blue planet. The world’s oceans cover 71 per cent of the planet’s surface, and are essential to the global climate and ecological balance, to the habitability and existence of life on the planet. At the same time, the oceans are the largest and one of the most important fields in which “man’s metabolism with nature is mediated, regulated, and controlled by his own actions” (Marx and Engels 1968: 192).

Jörn Boewe, Major Trends in Work at Sea: Outline of a Political Economy of Maritime Labour, in: Handbook of Research on the Global Political Economy of Work, edited by Maurizio Atzeni, Dario Azzellini, Alessandra Mezzadri, Phoebe Moore, Ursula Apitzsch (Hrsg.) 708 pp., 2023, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd., ISBN 978-1-83910-657-6