I know there are photographs of the Earth from the lunar surface taken during Apollo 11, 14 and 17. Here are some for reference (there are many for Apollo 17).

Apollo 11 (AS11-40-5923):

enter image description here Apollo 14 (AS14-64-9191):

enter image description here Apollo 17 (AS17-134-20384):

enter image description here

Looking at the Apollo 12 image library, Apollo 15 image library, and Apollo 16 image library, I've seen no images of the Earth taken from the lunar surface. Then again, there are many images so it is possible that I might have overlooked one of them. All the Apollo missions landed on the near-side of the Moon and the landing site needed to be in a direct line of sight with the Earth to maintain communications with mission control in Houston. If there are zero images of the Earth taken from the surface during Apollo 12, 15 and 16, then why is that?

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    $\begingroup$ As Hobbes notes, they do not have a lot of scientific value, 16 did take this one reddit.com/r/space/comments/4oe3ni/…, in theory there should have been a match for it taken in visible light. $\endgroup$ Dec 15, 2019 at 8:09

1 Answer 1


Why would there be? The Apollo mission goal was to examine the Moon, not take pretty pictures of Earth.

The seminal Earth image was taken by Apollo 8, this turned out to be an important image. But subsequent repeats wouldn't add much value to this.

The astronauts had freedom in what they took pictures of, but they had a limited amount of photo magazines available so they were conscious of not wasting film on non-science imagery. On Apollo 11, the lander crew only had enough film for 800 exposures.

Complete photo indexes are available for each mission in the Apollo lunar surface journal.

Oh, and your premise is incorrect. The ALSJ shows photos of Earth were taken by Apollo 12.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ here you go again, micromanaging other people's questions. $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Dec 15, 2019 at 8:23
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    $\begingroup$ Answers are for everyone to read, vote on, and comment on, they're not specifically for the OP only. This is a real answer now, thanks! It's much better than the original terse zinger. $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Dec 15, 2019 at 8:31
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    $\begingroup$ some questions don't need more than a terse zinger. $\endgroup$
    – Hobbes
    Dec 15, 2019 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer. I'd figured that at least one photo could've been used to photograph the Earth. $\endgroup$
    – Star Man
    Dec 15, 2019 at 16:58
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    $\begingroup$ "photos of earth taken by Apollo 12". Yes, but that is from orbit. Not from the surface. $\endgroup$
    – Star Man
    Dec 31, 2019 at 23:46

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