Astronaut Sees Super Typhoon Haiyan from Space (Photo)

Nyberg: Super Typhoon Haiyan from ISS
NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg took this photo of Super Typhoon Haiyan from her home on the International Space Station on Nov. 9, 2013, one day after Haiyan devastated the Philippines. (Image credit: NASA via Karen Nyberg/@Astro_KarenN)

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.  

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.