Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8, Houston. Receiving nothing now. Over.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

We're receiving the picture; we're just not seeing the view of the earth.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Okay. We are just picking it up at 3 o'clock on our screen.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

It is moving up toward 1 o'clock and in toward the center; keep it going in that direction.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

It's looking better. You're holding it about 1 or 2 o'clock. Looking better. Give us a little more in that same direction. You're down at 3 o'clock now. We see about half of what you see. Too much. It is disappearing at our 5 o'clock. Now it is coming back. It is half off—screen at our 2 o'clock.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

And it's disappeared off at our 3 o'clock. There, It is coming back in now. It is headed toward the center of our screen.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

It is right in the center of our screen. Just hold her—hold her steady. It is really looking good. Okay. We have —

Jim Lovell (CMP)

What you're seeing, Mike, is a—Houston, what you are seeing is the Western Hemisphere. Looking—at the top is the North Pole; in the center—just lower to the center is South America—all the way down to Cape Horn. I can see Baja California and the southwestern part of the United States. There is a big long cloud bank going northeast, covers a lot of the Gulf of Mexico, going up to the eastern part of the United States, and it appears now that the east coast is cloudy, I can see clouds over parts of Mexico; the parts of Central America are clear. And we can also see the white, bright spots of the subsolar point on the light side of the earth.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Roger. Could you give me some ideas about the colors, and also, could you try a slight maneuver? It is disappearing. We're seeing about half of it. It is going off to our 12 o'clock. Now it is going off to our 3 o'clock. That is the wrong direction. Yes, that is a good direction.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

We need another small correction to bring it to our center screen. If you could maneuver toward the terminator, that is the part of it we are missing. We are getting the lighted portion. There you go; that's fine. Stop it right there.

Jim Lovell (CMP)

Okay. For colors, waters are all sort of a royal blue; clouds, of course, are bright white; the reflection off the earth is—appears much greater than the moon. The land areas are generally a brownish—sort of dark brownish to light brown in texture. Many of the vortices of clouds can be seen of the various weather cells. A long band of—it appears cirrus clouds that extend from the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico going straight out across the Atlantic. The terminator, of course, cuts through the Atlantic Ocean right now, going from north to south. Southern Hemisphere is almost completely clouded over, and up near the North Pole there is quite a few clouds. Southwestern Texas and southwestern United States is clear. I'd say there are some clouds up in the northwest and over in the northeast portion.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Roger. Could you maneuver toward the terminator again, please?

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

A little bit more. Stop her right there and hold it. It keeps slipping up a little bit; could you maneuver slightly more toward the terminator?

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

We are getting about half of the earth, Frank. The top half—our top half which includes the dark portion it—is obscured.

Frank Borman (CDR)

How is the definition on the picture?

Jim Lovell (CMP)

Can you see cloud patterns at all?

Bill Anders (LMP)

Are you still seeing it, Houston?

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Yes, we are seeing it. We are missing the portion of the earth that is over toward the terminator. The dark portion of the earth is what we are not picking up. We are getting about three-quarters or four-fifths of the rest of it.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Roger. I will move it, and tell me when I am getting better or worse please.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Stop right there. That is worse, Bill. Go back where you were. You made it disappear to our 3 o'clock. Now it's coming back. Okay. Stop right there. Now you are back where you were, and we need a motion that is about 90 degrees to that last one you gave us.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

That is the wrong 90 degrees. 180 degrees away from that one.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Stop right there. Okay. Now we have lost a different half of it. I need a motion 90 degrees to that last one.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

That is good right there, Bill. That is good right there.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Apollo 8, Houston. If you can stick your polarizing filter in front of the camera without disturbing anything else, it might improve the quality slightly.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Okay. The polarising filter is in front.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Still looking good. That didn't make much of a change one way or another, but in general, considering how far away you are, it's looking excellent.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Well, I hope that everyone enjoys the picture that we are taking of themselves. How far away from earth now, Jim, about?

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

We have you about 180 000.

Bill Anders (LMP)

You are looking at yourselves at 180 000 miles out in space.

Jim Lovell (CMP)

Frank, what I keep imagining is if I am some lonely traveler from another planet what I would think about the earth at this altitude, whether I think it would be inhabited or not.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Don't see anybody waving; is that what you are saying?

Jim Lovell (CMP)

I was just kind of curious if I would land on the blue or the brown part of the earth.

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Spoken on Dec. 23, 1968, 8:09 p.m. UTC (50 years, 6 months ago). Link to this transcript range is: Tweet

Bill Anders (LMP)

You better hope that we land on the blue part.

Bill Anders (LMP)

Jim is always for land landings.

Mike Collins (CAPCOM)

Roger. This picture is drifting off center again. If you could make another correction to bring it back. I couldn't tell you which direction, but you're going the right way, you're going the right way. A little bit more; a little bit more. Whoa, stop right there. That's the best centering we have had, Apollo 8. If you could just hold that, that's perfect,

Bill Anders (LMP)

To give you some idea, Mike, of what we can see: I can pick out the southwest coastline of the Gulf and where Houston should be, and also the mouth of the Mississippi; I can see Baja California and that particular area. I am using a monocular that we have aboard.