Essential Information

Type Exhibitions
Location
Royal Observatory
Date and Times Open daily | 10am-5pm
Prices Free for Planetarium show ticketholders and Royal Observatory visitors

Each day, over 1,000 satellites constantly image and analyse Earth.

The data collected, encompassing observations of everything from volcanic eruptions to traffic jams, is shaping our modern world.

From space, Earth’s fragile beauty is most obvious. Its changing climate is unmistakable, as habitats retreat and oceans warm. But the data gathered is also helping to turn things around.

Satellite photograph of Great Britain and Ireland during the summer 2022 heatwave. Large swathes of brown in the south and east of England show how the heat has affected the country
(Image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center/Expedition 67 Crew)

Earth from Space takes a closer look at our world through the satellite’s lens, opening up a perspective that only a handful of humans have experienced themselves.

Through astrophotography, video and interactive elements, the exhibition at the Royal Observatory Greenwich explores satellites’ vital role in tackling climate change, and reveals a truly unique, living planet: our home in space.

Earth From Space is free for all Planetarium show ticketholders and Royal Observatory visitors.

Look inside the exhibition

Tap the arrows to see just a handful of the remarkable images featured in Earth From Space.

Tap to begin

The Blue Marble

Taken by the crew of Apollo 17 on 7 December 1972, this full-disc image of Earth became famous as the original ‘Blue Marble’ - one of the first images of the entire planet from space. In it we see the South Pole, Africa and a cyclone over India. During Apollo both remote and handheld photography was used, with astronaut images providing a uniquely human perspective of the Earth and Moon. The image remains one of the most culturally significant in history, with countless reproductions by other space missions, for its stark demonstration of Earth as a living island in an otherwise dark cosmos.

Apollo 17/Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

An image for 'The Blue Marble'

Baltic Bloom

The ocean’s smallest plants, phytoplankton, can bloom in their billions when cool ocean currents deliver sufficient nutrients, as they have done here in the Gulf of Finland. Phytoplankton alone convert about as much carbon from our atmosphere into living mater as all land plants combined, making them a potentially vital tool in combatting climate change. However, blooms can also be harmful to other wildlife and humans. Imaging blooms from space greatly aids the study of these important plants as our ocean warms.

NASA Earth Observatory images by Joshua Stevens and Lauren Dauphin, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey and MODIS data from LANCE/EOSDIS Rapid Response

An image for 'Baltic Bloom'

Heatwave

In the summer of 2022, temperatures in the UK exceeded 40°C, turning large areas of the country yellow. It is predicted that Europe will likely see longer, more frequent, and more intense heatwaves due to climate change, and the extent of heat stress on flora is striking from space. In 2023, temperatures in parts of Europe approached 48°C, intensifying wildfires and making them more dangerous and more difficult to control. Satellite data can help protect ecosystems in both the UK and the rest of the world during intense heat.

Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center/Expedition 67 Crew

An image for 'Heatwave'

Breakaway

In false colour, the blue ice shelves of the Antarctic can be seen breaking up. In 2017 ESA Sentinel satellites witnessed a major disintegration of the Larsen Ice Shelf in the Weddell Sea. While the melting of ice shelves does not raise sea levels, their break-up dramatically quickens glacial melt on land, which does contribute to higher sea levels. Ice shelves are also unique marine ecosystems and their loss is now closely monitored.

ESA/Sentinel-3/Copernicus/CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

An image for 'Breakaway'

Fjord Tracks

Human activity does not have to be on a grand scale to be visible. In Greenland in March 2023, Landsat 9 observed straight tracks carved on the frozen Tunulliarfik fjord, indicating that the 150 or so residents of nearby towns are likely using vehicles to traverse the ice for hunting, fishing or as a quicker route to the airstrip seen at the top of the image. Even life in the most remote locations on Earth is visible to satellites.

NASA Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey

An image for 'Fjord Tracks'

Blockage

In early 2021 global shipping all but ground to a stop when the huge container ship Ever Given blocked the Suez Canal. After a week, a traffic jam of 367 vessels had developed, stretching over 100 km into the Red Sea. Countless satellites monitored events and coordinated the rescue attempt from space, providing useful data during efforts to refloat the stranded ship.

NASA Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin and Joshua Stevens, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey and VIIRS day-night band data from the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership

An image for 'Blockage'

Suspended in a Sunbeam

Taken by the Voyager 1 probe on Valentine’s Day 1990, this is the most distant image of Earth ever made. Earth is but a fraction of a single pixel, but visible nonetheless. Astronomer and scientist Carl Sagan encouraged NASA to allow this image to be taken just minutes before Voyager’s cameras shut down forever. His accompanying lecture, ‘Pale Blue Dot’, remains one of the most evocative pieces written on Earth’s fragility and our responsibility to protect it.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Voyager-1

An image for 'Suspended in a Sunbeam'

Plan your visit

Tickets and booking

Earth From Space is free for all Planetarium show ticketholders and Royal Observatory visitors.

If you'd like to visit the historic Royal Observatory, you'll need a timed entry ticket. We recommend booking online in advance to avoid disappointment, although walk-up visits are still available.

Planetarium show tickets are not included in entry to the Royal Observatory and must be booked separately. For a full schedule and how to book, click here.

Once here, you can visit Earth From Space whenever you like; there is no separate ticket required for the exhibition.

Finding the exhibition

Earth From Space is located in the Astronomy Centre, in a dedicated gallery space right next to the Peter Harrison Planetarium. If you are coming to the Planetarium, you can choose to visit the exhibition either before or after your show.

If you are visiting the historic part of the Royal Observatory and would also like to see Earth From Space, just ask any staff for directions when you arrive. The Astronomy Centre is in the south part of the site, just past the distinctive roof of the Planetarium.

Eat and drink

Located in the Astronomy Centre at the Royal Observatory, the Astronomy Café & Terrace is open at weekends and school holidays to Planetarium ticket holders. You can also pick up refreshments from stalls just outside the main entrance to the Observatory, or head towards the Parkside Café just down the hill at the National Maritime Museum

Find out more

Combine your visit with a brand new Planetarium show

We Are Guardians is a new Planetarium show exploring satellites' role in monitoring climate change. Join Earth's fleet of state-of-the-art satellites for an immersive exploration of our planet today, suitable for adults and families.

Find out more

Be part of a UK-wide science network

The Royal Observatory Greenwich is actively involved with the UK Space Agency to teach and promote the use of satellite imagery to tackle climate change.

22 science centres and museums across the UK are participating in the Our World From Space programme. Find out more about the other partners and their projects here.

The words "Our World From Space" beside a location pin, inside the pin is an animated planet Earth

Tickets and Opening

Free for Planetarium ticketholders
Included in Observatory entry

 

Open daily from 21 October 2023

10am-5pm

  • Greenwich Station
  • Cutty Sark DLR
  • Maze Hill Station
  • Greenwich Pier

What’s On

Find all events coming up at the Royal Observatory.

Morning Stars
Planetarium shows | Community astronomy

Morning Stars

Our more relaxed planetarium shows for those who prefer a calmer environment, such as people with ASD
1, 5, 8, 12 April 2024 | 10.15-11.00am
£10 Adult | £5 Child | Free Companion tickets
Royal Observatory
Earth From Space
Exhibitions

Earth From Space

See the world through a satellite’s lens, and explore our changing planet at the Royal Observatory Greenwich
Open daily | 10am-5pm
Free for Planetarium show ticketholders and Royal Observatory visitors
Royal Observatory
We Are Guardians
Planetarium shows

We Are Guardians

Join Earth's fleet of state-of-the-art satellites for an immersive exploration of their role in safeguarding our planet
Daily shows except Thursdays
Adult £12 | Child £6 | Student & Under 25: £8
Royal Observatory
The Sky Tonight
Planetarium shows

The Sky Tonight

A classic guide to the night sky presented live by a Royal Observatory Greenwich astronomer
Daily shows except Thursdays
Adult £12 | Child £6 | Student & Under 25: £8
Royal Observatory
Ted's Space Adventure
Planetarium shows

Ted's Space Adventure

Join Ted the bear on an adventure around the Solar System in this special live planetarium show for under-7s - perfect for little astronauts everywhere!
Weekends and holiday weekdays
Adults £12 | Child £6 | Student & Under 25: £8
Royal Observatory
Observatory Unlocked
Experiences

Observatory Unlocked

Drop by and chat with our Royal Observatory Explainers as they bring science and astronomy to life
Saturdays and Sundays
Included with Royal Observatory admission
Royal Observatory
Audio Universe: Tour of the Solar System
Planetarium shows

Audio Universe: Tour of the Solar System

Experience the Solar System like never before - by travelling on a spacecraft that can turn the objects in space into sound!
Weekends and holiday weekdays
Adult £12 | Child £6 | Student & Under 25: £8
Royal Observatory
Meet the Neighbours
Planetarium shows

Meet the Neighbours

Tour the Solar System and beyond in style with this live, immersive show packed full of spectacular sights and fun facts
Weekends and holiday weekdays in April
Adult £12 | Child £6 | Student & Under 25: £8
Royal Observatory
Silver Screen Science-Fiction presents... Lilo & Stitch
Events and festivals

Silver Screen Science-Fiction presents... Lilo & Stitch

Join the Hawaiian rollercoaster ride that is Lilo & Stitch!
Saturday 27 April 2024 | 6.30-8.15pm
£10 Adult | £5 Child
Royal Observatory
Introduction to Astrophysics
Courses | Astronomy courses

Introduction to Astrophysics

Explore topics at the cutting edge of scientific research and the limits of human knowledge
Tuesdays, 7–9pm | 6-week courses available from 12 Sep 2023; 2 Jan and 16 Apr 2024
£96
Royal Observatory
Planetarium Celebration Shows
Planetarium shows

Planetarium Celebration Shows

Come and celebrate International Day of Planetariums with us in a series of one-off special shows, presented live by our Royal Observatory astronomers.
Sunday 5 and Monday 6 May 2024
Adult £12 | Child £6 | Student & Under 25: £8
Royal Observatory
Astronomy and Islam
Planetarium shows | Community astronomy

Astronomy and Islam

Join us for a special show featuring the New Crescent Moon and historic Islamic astronomy.
Select Saturdays and Sundays | 10.30am
£10 Adult | £5 Child
Royal Observatory
Out Of This World: Moons
Family fun

Out Of This World: Moons

Explore the moons of our solar system in this family workshop
28 May 2024 | 10.30am - 12 noon
£5 per child
Royal Observatory
Inside the Stargazer's Palace with Violet Moller
Talks and tours | Member events

Inside the Stargazer's Palace with Violet Moller

Award-winning historian Violet Moller welcomes you into the mysterious world of sixteenth-century science, where astronomers and alchemists shared laboratories
Wednesday 19 June 2024 | 6.30pm-7.30pm
Free for Members – booking required
Royal Observatory
Teachers' Evening 2024
Events and festivals

Teachers' Evening 2024

Celebrate the end of term and find out about schools sessions, resources, CPD and project opportunities at all Royal Museums Greenwich sites.
Thursday 4 July 2024 | 4.30pm - 7.00pm
FREE for UK school teachers
Royal Observatory

Visit the Royal Observatory

Visit the home of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), the Prime Meridian of the world and London’s only Planetarium

Main image courtesy of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, NASA Johnson Space Center

Choose your tickets

Earth From Space is free for all Planetarium show ticketholders and Royal Observatory visitors. If you'd like to visit the historic Royal Observatory, you'll need a timed entry ticket. Planetarium shows are not included in general admissions to the Royal Observatory and must be booked separately.

Royal Observatory

  • Walk the Prime Meridian line
  • See the best view in London
  • Guaranteed entry time
  • Audio guide included
  • Planetarium shows not included
Adult £20
Child £10
BOOK NOW

Planetarium show

The Sky Tonight

  • Daily shows
  • Suitable for ages 7+
  • Not available for under 5s
Adult £12.00
Child £6.00
Student & Under 25 £8.00
BOOK NOW

Planetarium show

Ted's Space Adventure

  • Suitable for under 7s
  • Shows run Saturdays and Sundays
  • Daily during school holidays
Adult £12.00
Child £6.00
Student & Under 25  £8.00
BOOK NOW

Planetarium show

Meet the Neighbours

  • Dates vary
  • Suitable for ages 7+
  • Not available for under 5s
Adult £12.00
Child £6.00
Student & Under 25 £8.00
BOOK NOW