If you’ve ever viewed a solar eclipse, you’re familiar with the neck-stiffening sensation of looking up as the sun is briefly overshadowed by the moon.
But what would the same eclipse look like if you viewed it from space? “Life From Above,” a four-part series from PBS and BBC Studios’s Natural History Unit, has the answer.
Life from Above | PBS
Watch Life from Above videos on demand. Stream full episodes online.
The show, which premieres at 10 p.m. Wednesday on PBS stations, showcases views of Earth from space — and also reveals the scientific importance of satellite photography.
The first satellites helped trigger a space race that stoked the Cold War. But cameras posted above Earth also make plenty of scientific contributions.
They allow scientists to measure oncoming storms and the extent of the flooding that follows. They help lead researchers to animal life in places that are hard to monitor or explore on land — such as Antarctica, where researchers can use satellite imagery to track penguin colonies using the brown color of their guano trails. And they capture the ebb and flow of animal and plant life.