It’s no understatement to say that 2020 has been a crazy year. On top of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve seen geopolitical tensions, social upheaval, environmental disasters, and a whole host of other Earth-shaking events. To chronicle these events, Maxar Technologies has released a reel of stunning satellite images that detail the story of 2020 as seen from the sky.
Covid-19 grips China: Images show the rapid construction of the Huoshenshan facility, an emergency hospital that China rushed to construct at the beginning of February as Covid-19 cases started to skyrocket.
COVID CASES SKYROCKET
The virus goes global: Satellite images show Iran digging a huge number of graves to accommodate the rising number of deaths from Covid-19.
THE WORLD UNDER LOCKDOWN
Lockdown: Before and after images show Palm Sunday celebrations at Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome, in 2020 (top) compared to 2011 (bottom).
ASTRONAUTS LEAVE PANDEMIC EARTH
Blast off: The launchpad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida set to see NASA and SpaceX's historic mission to send two astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) on May 30.
Black Lives Matter: Sparked by the murder of George Floyd, protests across the US and around the world took a stand against police brutality and systemic racism. Below, we see a BLM mural painted on the streets Of Washington DC on June 6.
Tempers flare: As tensions between the US and Iran continued to rise, Iran towed a reconstruction of a US aircraft carrier into the Strait of Hormuz and used it for target practice in July.
EXPLOSION ROCKS BEIRUT
A truly historical blast: An explosion at Lebanon's Port of Beirut was one of the largest non-nuclear blasts in history. Before and after satellite images give some insight into the scale of the destruction. At least 204 people lost their lives.
REFUGEE CAMP FIRE
Displaced: fire ripped through Europe's largest Refugee Camp on the Greek Island of Lesbos, displacing around 1,000 people.
More flames: Historic wildfires hit much of the West Coast of the US during the second half of 2020, including the second-largest wildfire in Colorado history, seen below on October 22.
Nature devastates Central America: a Category 5 storm, Hurricane Iota, struck the small Colombian island of Providencia and caused severe damage to the majority of local’s homes.
The end of a scientific era: On December 1, the Arecibo Telescope in Puerta Rico suffered a collapse. Along with producing revolutionary scientific discoveries, this telescope was also featured in a number of Hollywood movies, such as Contact and Goldeneye. You can watch drone footage of its dramatic collapse right here.