An astronaut in orbit has snapped a striking view of Super Typhoon Haiyan as it appears from space — an image taken one day after the monster storm devastated the Philippines as it heads toward Vietnam.
NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg spotted Typhoon Haiyan through a window on the International Space Station on Saturday (Nov. 9), just one day after the storm caused widespread damage and loss of life in the Philippines.
"Typhoon Haiyan. November 9," Nyberg wrote in a simple message posted on Twitter under her handle @Astro_KarenN. [8 Terrible Typhoons]
The so-called super typhoon slammed into the Philippines on Friday (Nov. 8) and has been blamed for potentially thousands of deaths due to storm flooding and widespread devastation, according to the Associated Press.
The tropical cyclone (a blanket term for all typhoons and hurricane) is the year's most intense and made landfall as the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane on the Safir-Simpson scale when it struck the central Philippines municipality of Guiuan at the southern tip of the province of Eastern Samar early Friday, NASA officials wrote in an update.
According to the Associated Press, the Typhoon Haiyan had sustained winds of up to 147 mph (235 km/h) and gusts of up to 170 mph (275 km/h). The storm has since weakened slightly. It is expected to reach Vietnam on Monday (Nov. 11).
Nyberg's photo of Typhoon Haiyan from space is one of many NASA images of the storm from orbit. The space agency has been constantly tracking the storm from space using weather and Earth observation satellites.
Nyberg posted her photo during a busy time on the International Space Station. On Saturday, two cosmonauts took a spacewalk outside the station with the Olympic torch for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia in a cosmic torch relay and photo opp.
The torch arrived at the space station on Thursday (Nov. 7) along with three new residents for the space station: cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata.
On Sunday (Nov. 10), Nyberg and two crewmates — cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano of Italy — left the space station aboard a Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft to wrap up a 166-day mission with a landing in Kazakhstan. The trio also returned the Olympic torch to Earth so it can be used during the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics.