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Channel 4 looks back at 2022 via satellite footage

Channel 4

Channel 4 looks back at 2022 via satellite footage

Channel 4 looks back at 2022 via satellite footage

Over a thousand satellites take millions of images of Earth every single day.

They give unique and often magical insights into the beauty and vulnerability of our planet and reveal hidden truths behind the big stories of 2022.

Whether they are about the activities of mankind or the awesome power of the natural world, these images allow us to understand our planet and ourselves in a whole new way. The war in Ukraine was foretold through the analysis of satellite images, and the terrible destruction since has been revealed by photographs taken far above the battlefields and bombed out cities. But in 2022, satellites have also revealed stories of joy and optimism.

As Covid lockdowns were lifted, empty cities were busy again, crowds returned to Saint Peter’s Square in Rome, and a million pilgrims gathered in Mecca for the Hajj.

Across the summer, festivals burst back into life and each did so in ways that could best be understood from space – from the happy randomness of Glastonbury in the green fields of Somerset, to the surreal Burning Man in the Arizona desert. In places where people never go, satellites revealed magical new stories, like the existence of unknown colonies of king penguins in Antarctica, and the plumes of herring spawn in the Pacific, so vast they can be seen from space and a testament to a species bouncing back.

Elsewhere, terrifying images of wildfires across Europe, receding rivers, and browned out landscapes bore witness to the hottest year on record. Riots in Sri Lanka, the darkening of the lights of Tigray as civil war destroyed power supplies, and ever more destruction in Ukraine, could all be seen from space and tell the story of 2022, a tumultuous year for the natural world and humankind.

2022: The Year From Space, Channel 4 tomorrow (Jan 3rd), 7.30pm

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