Bill Anders 1933-2024: astronaut who shot "the most influential environmental photograph ever taken" dies in plane crash

Earth rising above surface of the moon's surface - a photograph popularly known as Earthrise
Earthrise - shot by astronaut William Anders in 1968 from Apollo 8 (Image credit: William Anders/NASA)

US astronaut William Anders has died aged 90. He is the man who photographed Earthrise - which became one of the most iconic images of the 20th century, and one of the most memorable photographs of space. The image was shot on Christmas Eve 1968 from Apollo 8 – the first NASA mission to orbit the Moon.

We’d come 240,000 miles to see the moon and it was the Earth that was really worth looking at

William Anders

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Chris George

Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 

His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 15 Pro Max.

He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.