Earth, like a diamond in the lunar sky

Space Mission
Apollo 17, 7-19 December 1972, EVA 2

Eugene Cernan

Photo Description
Vintage chromogenic print on resin coated GAF paper [NASA photo No AS17-137-20910], 20,3 x 25,4 cm (8 x 10 in), with NASA caption numbered 72-H-1609, 72-HC-954, G-73-5356 as well as GAF watermarks on verso.
10 h × 8 w in (25 × 20 cm)

This is one of the very few Apollo photographs showing the Earth from the surface of the Moon, as seen by humans, in an extraordinary reversal of viewpoint.
Eugene Cernan took great care of capturing this photograph of major philosophical importance. The last man on the Moon framed this fantastic shot at station 2, located at the foot of the South Massif near the southeast rim of Nansen Crater, 4.8 miles from the LM. He went downhill a large rock named “boulder 2” and photographed the Earth in the lunar sky, which he could see above the boulder as he approached it. He had to lean backward to get the shot. The summit of the South Massif, rising 2,500 m above the valley floor, forms the background.

There you were, standing on the surface of the Moon in full sunlight, looking at the Earth, a quarter million miles away, surrounded by the blackest black. Not darkness, but the blackest black a human being can conceive in his mind. I think the perception that the Earth looks bigger than it really is probably comes from the majesty of its colors and from the fact that you are there on the Moon, looking back at it. It’s an overpowering figure of life in the sky.”
— Eugene Cernan (from the ALSJ mission transcript at 143:20:14 GET)