December is flying by and the holidays are quickly approaching. Join us for a look back on notable 2023 events as seen from space by the Maxar Intelligence constellation of high-resolution satellites:

Geopolitical Events

From conflicts between countries and rival factions, to ongoing development of islands in the South China Sea, geopolitics led news reports around the globe. Many of these events can be seen from space, and we’ve selected a few to share below.

Conflict continues for a second year between Ukraine and Russia

North Korea holds nighttime parade

Maxar’s WorldView-3 collected a nighttime image of a large military parade in progress in Pyongyang, North Korea. The parade commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army. The image reveals a large North Korean flag and thousands of people assembled in formation in Kim Il Sung Square while new missile launchers parade by the reviewing stand.

Development in the South China Sea

Vietnam spent significant effort in 2023 expanding Pearson Reef in the South China Sea. As this GIF shows, the island has been built up from a small outpost in 2021 to a bigger island with a central port through dredging and landfill work by 2023.

Power struggle in Sudan

Rival factions of the Sudanese military started fighting in April 2023. This April 17, 2023, image shows destroyed airplanes at the Khartoum International Airport. The Council on Foreign Relations’ Global Conflict Tracker shows that more than 10,000 people have died in this ongoing conflict.

War breaks out between Israel and Hamas

Weather And Climate Events

Forces of nature wreaked havoc on man-made infrastructure during 2023. The gallery below highlights different types of storms and geological events.

Human Interest Events

Some events just look cool from space while other events captured our attention to see how they end. This gallery showcases a handful of these occasions.

Happy holidays and cheers to the new year

As 2023 comes to an end, the team at Maxar Intelligence wishes you a joyful holiday season, hopes for peaceful resolutions to conflicts around the globe and looks ahead to 2024.

Members of the media can work directly with the Maxar News Bureau on investigations or sign up to receive distributions of current event imagery.


1 “Russia is covering aircraft with car tires, potentially to protect them from Ukrainian drones,” CNN, September 6, 2023.

2 “June 2023 Summit Eruption,” National Park Service.

3 “Before-and-after satellite images show Libya flooding damage,” CNN, September 14, 2023.

4 “Hurricane Otis Causes Catastrophic Damage in Acapulco, Mexico,” NOAA, November 2, 2023.

5 “Presumed human remains and shattered Titanic submersible returned to shore,” Reuters, June 29, 2023.

6 “SpaceX Starship launch failed minutes after reaching space,” Reuters, November 18, 2023.

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