Astronauts on the International Space Station clearly aren’t in any danger from hurricanes on our planet, they’re inevitably affected by them, with family and friends possibly in the path of the raging storm.
Yet, it’s hard not to admire the beauty of a hurricane from above.
A new photo shared on Twitter by NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik shows off that beauty, while also revealing the true scale of Hurricane Irma. The photo reveals Hurricane Irma on the horizon, next to what appears to be Cuba.
Irma’s path through the Caribbean has wreaked havoc on a part of the world pointed to by many astronauts as one of the most captivating to look at from above.
Through the years, Space Station residents like Scott Kelly, have said that the Caribbean is their favorite place to photograph from orbit because of its aquamarine waters and white sands.
— Randy Bresnik (@AstroKomrade) September 8, 2017
Some of those islands look very different from the ground now, however. Antigua and St. Martin were both shown directly in Irma’s eye when the extreme storm made landfall there on Wednesday, and the island of Barbuda, in the northern Leeward Islands, was shattered by the storm.
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) September 6, 2017
Irma is now spinning toward Florida for what could be a disastrous landfall for the state.
If the storm impacts NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, about 45 minutes from Orlando, it will be the second time a NASA center has been affected by a hurricane in two weeks.
Hurricane Harvey’s extreme flooding forced Johnson Space Center in Houston to close to all but essential personnel, many of whom were responsible for keeping astronauts like Bresnik on the Space Station safe and healthy even as their homes and families were facing flooding and high winds.