'Watch out, America!': Astronauts in space photographed Hurricane Florence and they say the view is 'chilling'
Sep 12, 2018, 22:36 IST
The International Space Station (ISS).
Alexander Gerst, a German astronaut who's currently orbiting Earth from 250 miles up, has a warning for humans on the planet below him.
"Watch out, America!" Gerst, who joined the crew of the International Space Station (ISS) in June, said Wednesday via a tweet featuring pictures he took of Hurricane Florence. "[T]his is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you."AdvertisementHurricane Florence is a Category-4 storm that's headed for the US East Coast and predicted to start impacting South Carolina and North Carolina as early as Thursday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Due to the storm's enormous size and power, it's been a recent - if not frightening - muse for astronaut photography.
Here are some of the best images of Hurricane Florence by Gerst and Ricky Arnold, a fellow NASA astronaut who's also living on board the ISS.
Gerst said Hurricane Florence is so enormous, with a width of more than 500 miles, that he "could only capture her with a super wide-angle lens."
When the space station flew over the storm's menacing eye, Gerst took this photo. "Get prepared on the East Coast," he warned.
But Gerst also had a high-power telephoto lens handy to zoom in on the eye.
"Ever stared down the gaping eye of a category 4 hurricane?" he said. "It's chilling, even from space."
This photo shows what it looks like deep inside the eye of Hurricane Florence, a place of relative calm for such storms.
NASA astronaut Ricky Arnold has also been following the giant storm. "The crew of @Space_Station is thinking of those who will be affected," he said on Wednesday.
This oblique view of the cyclone shows its outer bands just within reach of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina — near where the storm's powerful eye could make landfall.
Arnold has been following the storm's progress for days from his lofty perch. This picture show Hurricane Florence on Monday, September 10, 2018.
Here's a shot of the still-strengthening storm on the same day.
Arnold and his crewmates have seen two other big storms brewing in the Atlantic Ocean, including Hurricane Helene (a Category-1 storm, shown here) and Hurricane Isaac (which has weakened into a tropical storm).
NASA also recorded what it called "stark and sobering" video footage of the storm from the space station on Wednesday.