On 7 December 1972, an astronaut on the Apollo 17 space mission shot a series of photographs of the earth. One of these images, designated AS17-148-22727, was destined to become a symbol of the oneness of the earth. As described by Cosgrove (1994, p. 270): ‘It captured, centerframe and with perfect resolution, the full terracqueous disk without a solar shadow or “terminator.” The whole Earth, geography’s principal object of study, had been photographed by a human eyewitness.’ In the years which followed, this photographic image of the planet has supplanted the Mercator map and the cartographer’s globe as an icon of the Earth.
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