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13 Fabulous Images that show Capability of Satellite-borne Imaging in recent past

1- PyeongChang Winter Olympics, 2018

The 2018 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XXIII Olympic Winter Games and commonly known as PyeongChang Olympics 2018, was an international winter multi-sport event. This event was organized during 09-25 Feb 2018.

Fig: PyeongChang Winter Olympic games 2018 site, captured by Wordview-3 satellites of Satellite Imaging Corporation

2- Snow on Mars

Patches of Snow on the Red Planet. In early Martian summer, at the time NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter acquired this image, the dunes are almost free of their seasonal ice cover. Only pockets of ice protected in the shade most of the day remain (text:NASA).

Fig: Patches of Snow on Red planet (Image credit - NASA)

3- Indonesia Earthquake before and after image of year 2018

On 28 September 2018, a shallow, large earthquake struck in the neck of the Minahasa Peninsula, Indonesia, with its epicentre located in the mountainous Donggala Regency, Central Sulawesi. The magnitude 7.5 quake was located 77 km (48 mi) away from the provincial capital Palu and was felt as far away as Samarinda on East Kalimantan and also in Tawau, Malaysia. This event was preceded by a sequence of foreshocks, the largest of which was a magnitude 6.1 tremor that occurred earlier that day.

Fig: Indonesia Earthquake before and after image of year 2018. Images were taken on August 17th and October 1st (Image credit - Digital Globe)

4- County fire in Northern California

This multi-day infrared imagery from the NOAA-20 and Suomi NPP polar orbiting satellites shows wild fires in Northern California. During first four days of July, 2018 the wild fire was seen as doubled in size. This county fire was so horrible that can be understand by this statement of NOAA "Since the fire began on June 30, it has burned 86,000 acres and is about 30 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). More than 2,000 people have had to evacuate the area, and the fire continues to threaten nearly a thousand structures in its vicinity."

Fig: The multi-day IR imagery by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration ( NOAA)

5- Hurricane Michael, USA

This category 4 hurricane was having 250 km/h wind speed during 7 October 2018 to 16 October 2018. Hurricane Michael was the third-most intense Atlantic hurricane to make landfall in the United States in terms of pressure, behind the 1935 Labor Day hurricane and Hurricane Camille of 1969, as well as the strongest Atlantic hurricane to form in the month of October since Hurricane Wilma.

Fig: Hurricane Michael images (Image credit : NOAA and Digital Globe)

6- Volcanic Eruption in Hawaii

NASA's Terra satellite captured this view of the ash plume wafting from Hawaii's Kilauea volcano on May 6, 2018, using its Multi-angle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer instrument. Credit: NASA

Fig: Hawaii's Kilauea volcano on May 6, 2018 (Image credit: NASA). The right-hand frame shows the height of the plume.

7-INDIA during night time

Satellite image of India captured during night time by NASA earth observatory shows lights of Indian cities. This type of images are being circulated on social media by saying Diwali night image. But its not true. This is only a normal night time image.

Fig: India during night. (NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens)

8- North Korea’s Sanum-Dong missile assembly facility

During the summer, while the US and North Korean leaders discussed nuclear arms reduction, commercially-owned satellites revealed ICBM (Inter Continental Ballistic Missile) transportation at a facility not too far from Pyongyang. The Washington Post reported that spy agencies believe North Korea is continuing its ICBM development. (

Fig: North Korea’s Sanum-dong missile assembly facility south of Pyongyang on July 7 (Image credit: Planet satellites of Planet lab)

9- Rohingya muslims habitations seen on an island

Composite of planet and digitalglobe image showing man-made structures developed by rohingya. Bangladesh government intends to house 100,000 Rohingya refugees

“Early in 2018, our partners at Human Rights Watch used Planet data to carefully document the bulldozing of Rohingya villages by the Burmese government in the isolated Maungdaw province of Myanmar. With daily satellite imagery of everywhere on earth, organizations like HRW can track and mitigate human rights violations in remote and dangerous parts of the world from much safer locations.”—Andrew Zolli, VP of Global Impact at Planet (Credit:

Fig: Composite satellite image of Planet and Gigital-globe showing man-made structures developed by Rohingya in an island of Bay of Bengal, Bangladesh.

10- Genoa (Italy) Bridge Collapse

On 14 August 2018 at around 11:36 local time (09:36 UTC), during a torrential rainstorm, a 210-metre (690 ft) section of Ponte Morandi (Genoa, Italy Bridge) collapsed. This was centered on the westernmost pillar 9 which crossed the Polcevera river as well as an industrial area of Sampierdarena. Eyewitnesses reported that the bridge was hit by lightning before it collapsed. Between 30 and 35 cars and three trucks were reported to have fallen from the bridge.

Fig: Before and after satellite images of Genoa bridge collapse (Image credit EPA and

11- Stubble burning in North India

Stubble burning in Northern part of INDIA which caused heavy air pollution in Indian Capital Delhi and NCR was seen from NASA satellites.

Fig: Stubble burning in Northern part of INDIA (Image credit : NASA)

12- Spacewalk by NASA astronaut

Spacewalk by Astronaut Robert L. Stewart. He was floating a few meters away from the Space Shuttle Challenger during an extravehicular activity (EVA).

Fig: Spacewalk by Astronaut Robert L. Stewart. He was floating a few meters away from the Space Shuttle Challenger during an extravehicular activity (EVA)

13- Kerala Flood, 2018

Residents in India’s state of Kerala are reeling from a "once-in-a-century" flood that displaced nearly a million people, caused hundreds of fatalities, and washed away homes. The region started receiving heavy rain on August 8, 2018, but news reports state that the flooding was worsened by releases from dams.

References: 1-Planet lab

2- Digital Globe


Gopal Krishna

Doctoral Researcher,

New Delhi, India

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