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Video Explores Overview Effect – Astronaut Perspectives of Earth and Space

Apollo 17 hand-held Hasselblad picture of the full Earth. This picture was taken on 7 December 1972, as the spacecraft traveled to the moon as the last of the Apollo missions. A remarkably cloud-free Africa is at upper left, stretching down to the center of the image. Saudi Arabia is visible at the top of the disk and Antarctica and the south pole are at the bottom. Asia is on the horizon is at upper right. Credit: NASA

The “Overview Effect” was first described by author Frank White in 1987 – an experience that transforms astronauts’ perspective of the planet and humankind’s place upon it.

A recently released short film — ‘Overview’ explores this phenomenon through interviews with five astronauts who have experienced the Overview Effect.

A world premier of the 19-minute film took place last month, organized by [email protected] and co-sponsored by Harvard Extension School, Harvard Alumni Association, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

The December 7, 2012 event took place on the 40th anniversary of the “Blue Marble,” one of the most famous pictures of Earth, an image taken by the crew of Apollo 17 – the last Apollo mission to the Moon in 1972.

Panel discussion

A discussion panel about the Overview Effect and the film involved:

Rob Neugeboren, Dean of Students and Alumni Affairs, Harvard Division of Continuing Education

Frank White, Author, The Overview Effect, and Harvard Extension School instructor

Guy Reid, Director and co-producer, Overview

Jeffrey Hoffman, Shuttle astronaut and senior lecturer at MIT

Ronald Garan, ISS astronaut and founder of humanitarian organization Fragile Oasis

Douglas Trumbull, Visual effect producer on films such as “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “Star Trek: The Motion Picture.”

To view the discussion, go to:

To watch the HD version of Overview, go to

By Leonard David


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