Hurricane Sandy’s angry eye and enormous, 900-mile wide body were seen from unparalleled views in two new videos of the storm captured and posted by the International Space Station on Monday, each taken during a separate orbit of the station around Earth.
The enormous swath of the storm and its counter-clockwise spiraling winds appear almost tranquil in these views, but can be seen clearly edging closer to landfall on the United States’ East Coast in both videos, which were captured by a remote-controlled camera outside of the station. The space station itself is orbiting Earth from 260 miles up and travelling at 17,000 miles-per-hour.
“The videos give us a sense of just how big the storm is,” NASA spokesperson Josh Byerly told TPM in a phone interview. “We can pinpoint where the station’s going to be at any given time, and we knew where the storm was going to be, so that’s when and where we pointed the camera.”
The first video was captured during the space station’s pass over Hurricane Sandy on Monday at about 11:15 p.m. Eastern time, Byerly said.
It was taken at angle of about 20 to 25 degrees, less than ideal but still magnificent from our perspective here on Earth. See it below as posted to YouTube Monday via NASA:
NASA’s Byerly said that the agency wasn’t certain if the space station would be in a position to capture the storm again as it makes landfall, but would know by Tuesday morning based on the storm’s orientation and the station’s orbit.