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! Follow him on Twitter.