NASA Shares 'Chilling' Footage Of Hurricane Florence Captured From The International Space Station

Alexandra Lozovschi (old)

As more than a million Americans living on coastal areas prepare for evacuation to flee from the destructive path of Hurricane Florence, the astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) are keeping an eye on the Category 4 storm from their unique vantage point 250 miles (400 kilometers) above our planet.

Earlier today, the orbital post flew directly over the eye of the storm, which offered the astronauts unparalleled views of Hurricane Florence in all her might. The crew of Expedition 56 even managed to capture a few dramatic photos of the monster storm raging over the Atlantic Ocean, which they posted on social media to warn people about the devastating force of the hurricane.

The images were taken this morning at 7:50 a.m. EDT with a high-definition video camera mounted on the exterior of the space station and depict "stark and sobering views of Hurricane Florence," stated NASA officials.

The bone-chilling photos were posted to Twitter by German astronaut Alexander Gerst, of the European Space Agency, who commented on the importance of seeing "the big picture" and urged people to mind the official evacuation orders and "stay safe down there!"

"Ever stared down the gaping eye of a category 4 hurricane? It's chilling, even from space," Gerst tweeted earlier today.

At the same time, NASA is tracking Hurricane Florence with the Suomi NPP satellite, which passed over the eye of the storm in the early hours of September 12, at 2:12 a.m. EDT. These satellite observations revealed that the powerful Category 4 hurricane is 400 miles wide (643 kilometers) and will most likely unleash very heavy rainfall over parts of the U.S. East Coast.

To put things into perspective, the space agency notes that Hurricane Florence spans a distance equal to the one between Baltimore in Maryland and Boston in Massachusetts.

In fact, Gerst wrote on Twitter that Hurricane Florence is "so enormous" it could only fit in the frame of a wide-angle camera.

"Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you," the astronaut tweeted a few hours ago.

Imaged in red in the photo above, these storms have "cloud tops as cold as or colder than minus 70 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 56.6 degrees Celsius)," notes the space agency.