Wuhan to the Beirut blast: 2020's biggest moments photographed from above

Take a look at the best satellite images capturing world events in 2020 from Maxar Technologies

From the fight for racial equality to the start of a pandemic, many of 2020's tragedies and triumphs could be viewed from above.

Here are some of the images that summed up 2020 from above. Take a look at the gallery to see even more.

The outbreak of Covid-19

Wuhan was reported as the first wide-scale outbreak of Covid-19, the disease that would, over the course of a year, shut millions indoors under strict lockdowns and kill over 1.7 million.

Many questions remain about the origins of Covid-19 and the role Wuhan's exotic wildlife trade may have played in it.

Although authorities closed the Huanan market in January, there is a growing scientific consensus that the virus did not originate there. Some studies suggest it was already in circulation by the time it reached the market, with more than one transmission route.

Today, Wuhan has largely returned to normal. The city hasn't reported a new Covid-19 case since May. Its streets, bars, wet markets and restaurants are crowded.

Black Lives Matter

The killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis in May sparked historic protests against racial injustice and police brutality across the world.

Floyd, who was unarmed, suffocated beneath the knee of a white police officer. Horrified passers-by filmed his death, with the footage swiftly going viral.

This photograph shows a huge mural in Washington DC, painted overnight in yellow by a team of artists.

The battle is still being fought. On December 21, police in Columbus, Ohio shot dead an unarmed black man, Andre Maurice Hill, 47.

Columbus police chief Thomas Quinlan announced on December 24 that he was moving to fire the officer, Adam Coy, on allegations of "critical misconduct".

Izmir's devastating earthquake

In October, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the western Turkish city of Izmir, killing 115, despite a series of remarkable rescues, including a three year old rescued after 91 hours and a 70 year old after 34 hours.

Mauritius oil spill

Environmental workers and residents were left scrambling to protect Mauritius' precious wildlife in august after the MV Wakashio ran aground off the island nation.

At least 40 dolphins died after oil spilled from the oil tanker's split hull. Data shows the ship strayed more than 100 kilometres from a regular shipping lane before it crashed.

Beirut Port blast 

The August 4 Beirut blast was one of the biggest non-nuclear explosions ever recorded. It killed some 200 people, wounded thousands and devastated swathes of the Lebanese capital.

More than four months later, victims are still awaiting the result of the investigation into why 2,750 tonnes of potentially explosive material were stored unsafely at the port, which is surrounded by residential areas, for more than six years.

In the photo above, a cruise ship is seen on its side near the destroyed warehouses at Beirut's port.

Gigantic iceberg heads for penguin island

Scientists have been watching a massive iceberg drift toward South Georgia Island, home to thousands of penguins, throughout December. It measured 4,200-square-kilometres, as it rode a fast-track current towards the island, but broke apart on December 18.

The iceberg, dubbed A68a, approached the western shelf edge of the south Atlantic island this week and encountered strong currents, causing it to pivot nearly 180 degrees. A large piece broke off and is an iceberg in its own right.

It already has a name - A68d.

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6

Power: 380hp at 5,800rpm

Torque: 530Nm at 1,300-4,500rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Price: From Dh299,000 ($81,415)

On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6

Power: 380hp at 5,800rpm

Torque: 530Nm at 1,300-4,500rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Price: From Dh299,000 ($81,415)

On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6

Power: 380hp at 5,800rpm

Torque: 530Nm at 1,300-4,500rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Price: From Dh299,000 ($81,415)

On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6

Power: 380hp at 5,800rpm

Torque: 530Nm at 1,300-4,500rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Price: From Dh299,000 ($81,415)

On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6

Power: 380hp at 5,800rpm

Torque: 530Nm at 1,300-4,500rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Price: From Dh299,000 ($81,415)

On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6

Power: 380hp at 5,800rpm

Torque: 530Nm at 1,300-4,500rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Price: From Dh299,000 ($81,415)

On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6

Power: 380hp at 5,800rpm

Torque: 530Nm at 1,300-4,500rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Price: From Dh299,000 ($81,415)

On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6

Power: 380hp at 5,800rpm

Torque: 530Nm at 1,300-4,500rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Price: From Dh299,000 ($81,415)

On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6

Power: 380hp at 5,800rpm

Torque: 530Nm at 1,300-4,500rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Price: From Dh299,000 ($81,415)

On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6

Power: 380hp at 5,800rpm

Torque: 530Nm at 1,300-4,500rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Price: From Dh299,000 ($81,415)

On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6

Power: 380hp at 5,800rpm

Torque: 530Nm at 1,300-4,500rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Price: From Dh299,000 ($81,415)

On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6

Power: 380hp at 5,800rpm

Torque: 530Nm at 1,300-4,500rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Price: From Dh299,000 ($81,415)

On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6

Power: 380hp at 5,800rpm

Torque: 530Nm at 1,300-4,500rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Price: From Dh299,000 ($81,415)

On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6

Power: 380hp at 5,800rpm

Torque: 530Nm at 1,300-4,500rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Price: From Dh299,000 ($81,415)

On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6

Power: 380hp at 5,800rpm

Torque: 530Nm at 1,300-4,500rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Price: From Dh299,000 ($81,415)

On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V6

Power: 380hp at 5,800rpm

Torque: 530Nm at 1,300-4,500rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed auto

Price: From Dh299,000 ($81,415)

On sale: Now