Earth from Space in 2017: DigitalGlobe's Most Impactful Photos

Used and Ready for Re-Launch


To commemorate some of the biggest global news events of 2017, the satellite imaging company DigitalGlobe has released photos of significant scenes from around the world as seen from space. HERE: Before SpaceX launched the first mission with both a reused orbital rocket and reused cargo craft on Dec. 15, DigitalGlobe photographed the Falcon 9 rocket on the launchpad.

Volcanic Island Growth


Late in 2014, an island formed from underwater volcanic eruptions in the Kingdom of Tonga. This image from DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-2 satellite, taken on June 29, 2017, shows the newly formed island connecting

Serving Humanitarian Efforts


Using its Open Data Program, DigitalGlobe aided in rescue and recovery efforts following the violent hurricanes in 2017. Brookshire, Texas, suffered substantial flooding after Hurricane Harvey.

Speaking Up


Millions of people across the U.S. joined together on Jan. 21, 2017, marching for women's rights, racial equality, environmental protection and other causes, forming the largest protest in U.S. history. This image shows crowds participating in Denver, Colorado.

Airstrike in Syria


The Al Shayrat airfield suffered significant damage after the U.S. military launched 59 Tomahawk missiles on April 7, 2017 in response to a chemical weapons attack in Syria.

Site of Loss


During the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival on Oct. 1, 2017, a gunman fired over 1,100 rounds into a crowd from the Mandalay Bay hotel across the street.

California Wildfires


DigitalGlobe's Open Data Program offered insight on the multiple fires raging in California in 2017, including the Northern California Tubbs fire and the Southern California Thomas and Creek fires. The Coffey Park neighborhood in Santa Rosa suffered from extensive damage.

Increasing Tensions


This Pyongsong factory is believed to be producing the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missiles North Korea launched in a series of increasingly capable ballistic missile tests in 2017. This image from DigitalGlobe's WorldView-2 satellite was taken on Nov. 21, 2017.

Raqqa Liberated


After three years of being known as the de facto capital of the Islamic State in Syria, Raqqa was liberated by U.S.-backed Syrian militias. On Oct. 9, 2017, Syrian forces gathered in Raqqa's Al-Naim square in the midst of city ruins.

Aftermath of a Bomb


In Mogadishu, the Somalian capital, a truck bomb exploded on Oct. 14, 2017, killing 512 and injuring 316. This image shows the scar, evidence of the most deadly terror attack of 2017.

Severe Famine


Over 20 million people in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria are suffering from a serious famine. This image from the WorldView-2 satellite shows a refugee camp in Dikwa, Borno State, Nigeria, one of the most heavily affected areas of the famine.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at:

Christine Lunsford
Producer and Contributing Writer

Christine Lunsford joined the team in 2010 as a freelance producer and later became a contributing writer, covering astrophotography images, astronomy photos and amazing space galleries and more. During her more than 10 years with, oversaw the site's monthly skywatching updates and produced overnight features and stories on the latest space discoveries. She enjoys learning about subjects of all kinds.