Hurricane Earl... from space

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Sept. 3 2010 2:00 PM

Hurricane Earl... from space

What does a hurricane look like from orbit? This:

iss_earl

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Pretty cool. Hurricane Earl was photographed by an astronaut aboard the space station on August 30. Earl is a massive hurricane barraging the east coast of the US. But from this oblique angle the storm bands blur together, giving the massive storm a smooth, almost serene look. Underneath it, I imagine, the situation looks much different.

Funny how, from space, so many things lose their immediacy, their violent nature, and become beautiful.

Image credit: NASA image courtesy NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!