R ecently I was enthralled, watching the progress of the InSight Mission probe as it landed on the surface of Mars, and the pictures it sent back from a place that has figured in so many sci-fi books and films I enjoyed as a child. The technology that is giving us views of another planet in our solar system has built on the amazing development in satellites and optical equipment of the last few decades. Those improvements in picture quality, and the ability to zoom in from a long distance away, are also giving us unprecedented images of wildlife on our own planet – as can be seen in the forthcoming BBC series, Earth From Space. If you couple stunning footage from satellites, drones and camerawork on the ground, with the revelations about animals’ behaviour and characteristics that naturalists have uncovered by observing the world and its inhabitants from 600km above their heads, you have a compelling reason to be glued to the TV on chilly winter evenings.
Find out more about new BBC series Earth from Space on p18. Cape fur seals in Namibia are among the species spotted via amazing satellite images.