See the 2022 FIFA World Cup from space in this dazzling satellite image

This photograph was taken using a drone) An aerial view of Education City stadium at sunrise on June 22, 2022 in Al Rayyan, Qatar. Education City stadium.
This photograph was taken using a drone) An aerial view of Education City stadium at sunrise on June 22, 2022 in Al Rayyan, Qatar. Education City stadium. (Image credit: David Ramos/Getty Images)

Having an omniscient, birds-eye view of life can give one a false sense of god-like vision … or a severe case of vertigo! 

Such was the case when UAE's Khalifasat satellite operated by Mohammed Bin Rashid (MBR) Space Center caught a dizzying orbital shot of Education City Stadium in Qatar on Dec. 6, 2022 as Morocco stunned Spain with a triumphant penalty shootout win to move on to the FIFA World Cup quarterfinals after playing to a 0-0 draw. 

The photo was taken by the Emirati-made Khalifasat orbiting 381 miles (613 kilometers) above Earth looking down upon Education City Stadium where the 2022 FIFA World Cup is taking place. The MBR Space Center posted the image to Twitter (opens in new tab) on Dec. 7 along with a message of encouragement for the Moroccan squad. "This photo captured by KhalifaSat depicts the Education City Stadium that witnessed the victory of Morocco leading the team to the quarter finals of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Congratulations to the Moroccan team for this historic achievement!," MBR Space Center's tweet reads.

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Khalifasat, also known as DubaiSat-3, is the first satellite made exclusively by United Arab Emirates. The satellite provides high-resolution imagery of Earth from sun-synchronous orbit to be used in urban planning, environmental monitoring and aiding natural disaster response. 

Khalifasat was launched in October 2018 atop a Japanese H-IIA rocket from the country's Tanegashima Space Center, operated by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). It is only the third spacecraft to be managed by UAE's space agency.

Sadly, despite being featured in beautiful satellite imagery during the World Cup, Morocco's incredible success ended on Wednesday (Dec. 14) when they finally lost to France 2-0, but Morocco has plenty to be proud of during its miraculous tournament experience. France, the defending 2018 World Cup Champions, will play Argentina in the Finals on Sunday, Dec. 18.

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Jeff Spry
Contributing Writer

Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.