NASA Google+ Hangout: New Visualization 45th Anniversary of Apollo 8 Viewing Earth from Space


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NASA will host a Google+ hangout at 2 p.m. EST Friday, Dec. 20, to unveil a new simulation of the events leading to the creation of "Earthrise," one of the most iconic photographs of the 20th century.

It was 45 years ago on Dec. 24, 1968, when Apollo 8 astronauts captured the photograph called "Earthrise," the first color photograph of Earth taken by a person orbiting the moon.

This new simulation allows anyone to virtually ride with the astronauts and experience the awe they felt at the vista in front of them. The new computer simulation was created using data from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, and includes details not seen in previous visualizations. Launched in June 2009, LRO has conducted science activities and returned a treasure trove of unprecedented images of the lunar surface.

Panelists for the Google+ hangout:

*John Keller, LRO project scientist, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

*Ernie Wright, visualization media specialist, Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, Md.

*Andrew Chaikin, space historian and author

Google+ hangouts allow as many as 10 people or groups to chat, while thousands more can watch the conversation live on Google+ or YouTube.

Journalists who want to participate in the hangout or ask questions by phone must contact Aries Keck at 301-286-4435 or aries.keck@nasa.gov with their affiliation by 5 p.m. EST, Thursday, Dec. 19.

NASA social media followers may submit questions on Google+ or Twitter in advance and during the event using the hashtag #Earthrise or #askNASA. Before the hangout begins, NASA Goddard will open a thread on its Facebook page where questions may be posted.

To join the hangout, visit:

http://go.nasa.gov/18S2TbC

For more information about NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter mission, visit:

http://www.nasa.gov/LRO

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