Astronauts See Typhoon Neoguri's Power from Space (Photos)

Neoguri's Eye
"Scary. The sunlight is far from reaching down the abyss of Neoguri's 65 km-wide eye," wrote ESA's Alexander Gerst from the International Space Station July 7. (Image credit: NASA/ESA)

Astronauts in space had a front-row seat this week to watch the Typhoon Neoguri transform into a powerful a super typhoon that dominated the Pacific Ocean, then downgrade back into a typical typhoon. The space travelers capture stunning images of that stormy drama from their home aboard the International Space Station.

"Just went right above Supertyphoon Neoguri. It is ENORMOUS. Watch out, Japan!" Alexander Gerst, a German astronaut with the European Space Agency, wrote of a photo he posted on Monday (July 7). The image shows the huge storm swirling below a module and solar panel on the station. It was just one of several Gerst sent from the orbiting outpost.

NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman tweeted several photos of the storm, looking at its eye, framing it below a Japanese module on station and showing it above Taiwan.

"Just went right above Supertyphoon Neoguri. It is ENORMOUS. Watch out, Japan!", wrote ESA's Alexander Gerst from the International Space Station July 7. (Image credit: NASA/ESA)

On Tuesday (July 8), Wiseman sent another photo showing Neoguri fading: "Neoguri has been literally cut in half. Unreal," he wrote.

Typhoon Neoguri first formed in the western Pacific Ocean, south-southeast of Guam, on July 3, a NASA spokesman wrote in an update on the storm.

"Neoguri update: looks like a big piece is missing from this Typhoon. Amazing to see this happen in less than one day!," wrote ESA's Alexander Gerst from the International Space Station July 8. (Image credit: NASA/ESA)

"Since then Neoguri has become increasingly more powerful and dangerous," wrote Rob Gutro from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in an update today (July 9).

"Super Typhoon #Neoguri over Taiwan. 0740 GMT, July 8th," NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman tweeted along with this photo posted from the International Space Station. (Image credit: NASA)

As of yesterday, the typhoon's top speed was at 105 knots (121 mph, or 195 km/hr). It also was pushing up wave heights to 37 feet (11.2 meters), he added. The U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center was tracking Typhoon Neoguri moving north, but forecasted it will turn to the northeast and then east in the coming hours.

The typhoon is expected to make landfall at Kyushu, the third-largest Japanese island, after 8 p.m. EDT Thursday, July 10 (0000 Friday UTC).

"#Neoguri has been literally cut in half. Unreal," wrote NASA's Reid Wiseman from the International Space Station July 8. (Image credit: NASA)

The Expedition 40 astronauts on the space station are only one set of watchful eyes keeping track of the storm from space; NASA is also monitoring the storm using its Aqua and Cloudsat satellites and the joint U.S.-Japanese satellite, the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission.

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Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell (she/her), Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022 covering diversity, education and gaming as well. She was contributing writer for for 10 years before joining full-time. Elizabeth's reporting includes multiple exclusives with the White House and Office of the Vice-President of the United States, an exclusive conversation with aspiring space tourist (and NSYNC bassist) Lance Bass, speaking several times with the International Space Station, witnessing five human spaceflight launches on two continents, flying parabolic, working inside a spacesuit, and participating in a simulated Mars mission. Her latest book, "Why Am I Taller?", is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University and a Bachelor of History from Canada's Athabasca University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science at several institutions since 2015; her experience includes developing and teaching an astronomy course at Canada's Algonquin College (with Indigenous content as well) to more than 1,000 students since 2020. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday. Mastodon: