What We Used to Think the Earth Looked Like From Space

It's nearly impossible for us to imagine how the Earth might look to someone who's only ever seen it from a local's vantage point. But thanks to the Library of Congress, we don't have to imagine—newly posted images of 19th century drawings show us exactly what humans thought the Earth looked like far before we could ever have known for sure. The Smithsonian compiled a few of them, and some of our favorites lie below. You can see the rest over at The Library of Congress here. [Library of Congress via The Smithsonian]


This image, from The Moon: considered as a Planet, a World, and a Satellite, predicts how an eclipse of the Sun by the Earth might appear from the moon.

What We Used to Think the Earth Looked Like From Space

A little over two decades later, in 1898, the book The Story of the Sun, Moon, and Stars gave us another image of a (much closer) Earth as seen from the moon.

What We Used to Think the Earth Looked Like From Space

It's only really in recent years that we've had an actual view of the Earth from our nearest neighbor, Mars, but in 1920, a science fiction book called A Trip to Mars ventured a guess at a Martian's view of our home planet.

What We Used to Think the Earth Looked Like From Space