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Breathtaking Hurricanes Seen from Space (PHOTOS)

Chris Dolce and Edecio Martinez
Published: August 12, 2013

Hurricane Igor is featured in this Sept. 14, 2010, image photographed by an Expedition 24 crew member on the International Space Station. (NASA)

Hurricanes are one of the most dangerous and devastating forces of nature. These powerful cyclones also provide spectacular views from above via satellites and the International Space Station.

The satellites that provide these amazing images also play a crucial role in our ability to forecast tropical cyclones.

(MORE: Earth as Art: Incredible Satellite Images)

This includes detecting their formation, seeing where they are tracking and determining their intensity.

Prior to the satellite era (pre-1960s), some tropical storms and hurricanes could go undetected unless a ship encountered the storm or a land area was affected. During superstorm Sandy, which slammed the east coast the night of October 29, satellite images of the night sky offered a complete view of the storm and the widespread power outages, according to NASA. Low light sensors were also able to detect fog and other hard to see weather conditions.

The collection above showcases incredible images of hurricanes, some captured by NASA satellites and others from astronauts inside the International Space Station.

MORE: Stunning Images of Earth at Night

This image of the United States at night is a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012. (NASA Earth Observatory)

 

 


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