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Astronaut in Space Stares Into the Eye of Hurricane Dorian, a Category 4 Storm

Hurricane Dorian strengthened into a powerful Category 4 storm overnight, with astronauts and satellites capturing stunning views of the storm's eye from space today (Aug. 31).

On the International Space Station, astronaut Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency spotted Hurricane Dorian as it moved across the Atlantic Ocean toward the southeastern U.S. mainland. 

"Staring into the eye of the storm," Parmitano wrote on Twitter, where he shared the photo. 

Hurricane Dorian's eye is also clearly visible in this video from the GOES-East weather satellite operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Watch: See Hurricane Dorian in Action in these Gifs from Space
Related:
How NASA and NOAA Track Hurricane Dorian from Space

Astronaut Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency shared this stunning view of Hurricane Dorian as a Category 4 storm on Aug. 31, 2019 as it appeared from the International Space Station

(Image credit: Luca Parmitano/European Space Agency via Twitter)

NASA officials said Hurricane Dorian reached Category 4 status on the Safir-Simpson wind scale late Friday (Aug. 30). Its winds are blowing at between 130 mph and 156 mph (209-251 km/h). While the east coast of central Florida was bracing for a direct hit, the storm has since changed direction. 

"The second change in the storm was the turn it took during the nighttime hours which now has the storm potentially not making direct landfall on Florida but rather Georgia and the Carolinas," NASA officials said in a update today. "However, it should be noted that this track could change once again."

Hurricane Dorian's eye is clearly visible from space in this view from NOAA's GOES-East satellite taken on Aug. 31, 2019.

(Image credit: CIRA/NOAA)

As of 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), the eye of Hurricane Dorian was located about 415 miles (670 km) east of West Palm Beach Florida and about 260 miels (415 km) east northeast of the northwestern Bahamas, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported.

On Thursday (Aug. 29), NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan photographed the storm as it crossed the Caribbean. 

"I caught this shot yesterday as it traveled across the Caribbean north of Haiti and the Dominican Republic," Morgan wrote on Friday. 

NASA has recorded striking videos of Hurricane Dorian from the International Space Station whenever the orbiting lab passes over the storm. The station makes 16 complete orbits of Earth every day. 

NASA, NOAA and the NHC are using a fleet of satellites and aircraft to track Dorian as it moves across the Atlantic. And Parmitano is not the only astronaut to follow the storm's progress from the International Space Station.

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.  

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