In Brief

Notre Dame Fire Damage Spotted from Space (Photo)

DigitalGlobe's WorldView-2 satellite captured this image April 17, 2019, of the damage done to the Notre Dame Cathedral by a devastating fire. (Image credit: Satellite image ©2019 Maxar Technologies)

Notre Dame Cathedral's fire scars are visible from space.

A photo taken yesterday (April 17) by DigitalGlobe's sharp-eyed WorldView-2 satellite shows the damage done to the famous 850-year-old Paris church by a fire that broke out Monday evening (April 15) and raged for more than 12 hours.

The blaze felled Notre Dame's iconic spire and destroyed its wooden roof, but the main body of the cathedral survived the fiery onslaught.

"You can clearly see the burned center portion where the spire used to be, as well as crowds gathered along the Seine River," DigitalGlobe representatives said yesterday via Twitter and Facebook, where they posted the image.

Posted by DigitalGlobeInc on 

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

DigitalGlobe, a division of Maxar Technologies, provides high-resolution Earth imagery to a variety of customers using four operational satellites: WorldView-1, GeoEye-1, WorldView-2 and WorldView-3. A fifth member of the DigitalGlobe constellation, WorldView-4, suffered a gyro failure recently and is likely not recoverable, Maxar representatives have said.

WorldView-2 launched in October 2009. The 6,200-lb. (2,800 kilograms) satellite observes Earth from a perch about 480 miles (770 kilometers) above the planet's surface.

Here's a closer view of Notre Dame before the fire (click the top right of the image to expand):

DigitalGlobe's WorldView-2 satellite captured this image of the Notre Dame Cathedral Sept. 2, 2018. (Image credit: Satellite image ©2019 Maxar Technologies)

Mike Wall's book about the search for alien life, "Out There" (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), is out now. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Facebook

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Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.