Science, Tech & Environment

From space, Hurricane Arthur makes a stunning 4th of July show

Arthur from spaceII.jpg

Credit:

Reid Wiseman

Astronaut Reid Wiseman's photo from the International Space Station of Hurricane Arthur.

For many on the east coast, Hurricane Arthur is an unwelcome visitor on the holiday weekend. But Reid Wiseman has a different view on the storm — literally.

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Wiseman, an astronaut on the International Space Station, has been tweeting beautiful photos of Hurricane Arthur from space. He posted his first shot on Wednesday, when Arthur was still a tropical storm:

 
Since then, he's tracked the storm as it has grown, become a full-fledged hurricane, and, sadly, headed for the east coast rather than back out to sea.
 
And earlier on Friday, Wiseman got creative and broke out a new lens for an even more dramatic perspective on the storm.

Wiseman's German crewmate, Alexander Gerst, has also gotten in on the action. He's tweeting storm updates in both English and German:

This isn't the first time on the mission that Gerst and Wiseman have had fun with social media: After the US lost to Germany 1-0 in the World Cup, Gerst shaved the heads of his American crewmates and posted the video to YouTube.

Thankfully, the damage from Hurricane Arthur has been relatively small so far. The storm hit land in North Carolina on Thursday, but Pat McCrory, the state's governor, reported no deaths or serious injuries. Arthur is now back over the Atlantic Ocean but expected to slowly fade out over the weekend, leaving little more than ruing 4th of July plans in its wake.

And for Wiseman, the chance to photograph such storms is the realization of a long-held dream. In an interview before his mission, the first-time astronaut told NASA's website that, more than anything, he was looking forward to enjoying the view of Earth.

"I have thought about this for so many years," he said. "We see all these beautiful images that the astronauts have sent back from shuttle, Apollo missions and space station missions. But there is just something about climbing that mountain and standing at the top yourself and looking out."

 

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