Surveyor III was the second American lander which successfully explored the surface of the Moon.
The Apollo 12 astronauts were the only humans in history to witness such a view of an eclipse of the Sun by the Earth during their homeward journey from the Moon in November 1969.
Surveyor III’s television camera photographs the Earth about midway through the eclipse of April 24. Brightest portion of the lighted ring around the Earth appears in the north polar regions – Alaska and the Bering Strait. The solar disc passed slightly north of Earth’s equator. This produced the extra brightness in the Northern Hemisphere. Picture was taken at 4:01 a.m. PST. [NASA caption]
“The photograph is the first one in which man has been able to observe an eclipse of the Sun by his own Planet. Surveyor III took the view from the Moon with the wide-angle mode of its TV camera. Most prominent in the picture is the white cap of light caused by the bending of the Sun’s light as it passed through the Earth’s atmosphere.
The cap is much brighter than the rest because of the Sun’s proximity to that limb, causing a greater proportion of sunlight to be refracted. The beaded appearance around the remaining portion of the Earth’s atmosphere is due largely to the interruption of the band of light by overcast areas.”
—J. J. Rennilson, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Cortright, pg. 128)