2 Women's World Cup stadiums spied from space (satellite photos)

a soccer stadium seen from space
Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, imaged by a Planet SkySat on May 24, 2023. (Image credit: Planet Labs PBC)

The FIFA Women's World Cup is underway, and we just got a birds-eye view of two of the stadiums that are hosting the soccer action.

On Thursday (July 20), San Francisco-based company Planet tweeted out satellite photos of Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand and Stadium Australia (also known as Accor Stadium) in Sydney.

On that same day, the venues hosted the first two games of the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup: New Zealand versus Norway in Eden Park and Australia against Ireland at  the Sydney site. The home teams won 1-0 in both cases, as Planet noted.

"Two home team victories to kick off opening day of @FIFAWWC at @edenparknz and @AccorStadium. The two games drew a record crowd of 117,921 in attendance. Congrats to @TheMatildas and @NZ_Football Ferns!" Planet wrote in the tweet, referring to the nicknames of the two sides.

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Stadium Australia in Sydney, photographed by a Planet Labs SkySat on July 10, 2023.  (Image credit: Planet Labs PBC)

Planet is perhaps best known for its huge constellation of Doves, shoebox-sized cubesats that beam home detailed imagery of our home planet. 

But the two stadium shots were captured by larger, even sharper-eyed spacecraft known as SkySats. And they aren't in-game action shots; Eden Park was photographed on May 24, and Stadium Australia was captured on July 10, Planet representatives told Space.com via email.

The FIFA Women's World Cup runs through Aug. 20, when the championship game will be played. Like the men's World Cup, the tournament is held every four years. This year, Australia and New Zealand are co-hosting, with games being played at 10 different venues across the two nations.

The United States has won the past two Women's World Cups and is a strong contender to threepeat. The squad comes into the tournament ranked number one in the world and plays its first game, against Vietnam, tonight (July 21) at 9 p.m. EDT (0100 GMT on July 22) at Eden Park.

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Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with Space.com 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.