Film taken by Japanese Probe Selene
Ahhh, so now we know why the Apollo 8 story got such play on CNN this week.
"...On Christmas Eve 1968, none of the astronauts on board Apollo 8 were ready for the opportunity to witness their own Earthrise.
In all the months of training and preparation which had preceded the mission, no-one had thought to schedule an attempt for the crew to glimpse and record the most moving of sights, as their jewel of a home planet, suspended in the blackness of space, rose from behind the barren lunar horizon." - BBC
What's even more interesting is that the Apollo 8 landing module splashed down near Hawaii on re-entry, and is now kept in the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. Forty years later, our President-elect- who rose to prominence in Chicago- is vacationing in Hawaii.
Lots more on that coincidence in the days to come...
UPDATE: Actually, in the days behind as well. I don't know how I missed this one, but there was a 6 hour US/Russia spacewalk on the International Space Station (ISiS), the day after the Winter Solstice, as -get this- astronauts and cosmonauts worked to lubricate the Solar Alpha Rotary Joint.
Now, this absolutely was not some kind of Masonic ritual based on the Delta Cycle meant to replay the copulation of Isis and Osiris via artificial means to conceive the sun god Horus, who was then born on December 25th.
And it probably had no connection to a similar ritual-like event in Star Trek: First Contact where Picard, Worf and "Lt. Hawk" try to prevent the Borg from appropriating a solar disk so that the cruise missile-turned-spaceship Phoenix can achieve Earth's first warp-drive flight, resulting in
What a fantastically entertaining year this has been.
UPDATE II: Oh dear. Did you know that every Christmas Eve floor traders at the New York Stock Exchange stop and sing "Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nellie?" Interesting enough as it is, but the song's composer, Harry Von Tilzer, died on that magic day for the space program and global governance, January 10, 1946.