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NASA’s Most Famous Photo

17 Feb 2014, 07:01 UTC
NASA’s Most Famous Photo
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

OK, so I have three NASA photos, all of them undeniably “famous.” The claim of most famous could be supported on the basis of requests for copies, popular usage, or societal impact. Since the rise of the internet, it gets more difficult to track the proliferation of copies. These classic images are in the public domain, as are most NASA images, so you’ll find them all over the internet. If you use Google’s new image search feature, here’s the results:

Top image: Earthrise [3, 910,000 hits]
Middle image: The Blue Marble [90,800 hits]
Bottom image: Neil Armstrong and the United States flag on the Moon [606 hits]

Of course, these results are just for an online search. And based on what I know, that last result for Armstrong on the Moon cannot accurately represent its true popularity. It’s especially popular among the “Moon Hoax” conspiracy fans who believe it provides clues that the entire Moon landing program was faked in some secret studio on Earth. I addressed that misguided notion in my Feb 1, 2007 and Jul 23, 2012 posts. For a more-extensive point-by-point rebuttal, see this page by Jim Scotti of the Planetary Image Research Laboratory at Arizona State ...

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