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Astronauts spot Hurricane Larry from space (photos)

Hurricane Larry rages above the Atlantic Ocean in this image captured by NASA astronaut Megan McArthur at the International Space Station on Sept. 7, 2021. (Image credit: Megan McArthur/NASA/Twitter)

As Hurricane Larry churned through the Atlantic Ocean this weekend, astronauts at the International Space Station kept a watchful eye on the storm from space. 

"From our viewpoint on @Space_Station, it looks much larger than Ida," NASA astronaut Megan McArthur tweeted Tuesday (Sept. 7) from the orbiting laboratory.

Larry is currently a massive Category 3 hurricane, packing sustained winds of 115 mph (85 km/h), according to the National Hurricane Center. Although it isn't expected to make landfall, it will pass close to Bermuda this week, bringing tropical storm conditions to the island territory on Wednesday (Sept. 8) and Thursday (Sept. 9). 

Related: Damage from Hurricane Ida seen from space (satellite photos)

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NASA astronaut Megan McArthur shared this view of Hurricane Larry from the International Space Station on Sept. 4, 2021.

NASA astronaut Megan McArthur shared this view of Hurricane Larry from the International Space Station on Sept. 4, 2021. (Image credit: Megan McArthur/NASA/Twitter)
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A closer view of Hurricane Larry from the space station as it churned above the Atlantic Ocean, on Sept. 4, 2021.

A closer view of Hurricane Larry from the space station as it churned above the Atlantic Ocean, on Sept. 4, 2021. (Image credit: Megan McArthur/NASA/Twitter)

"Hoping this one doesn't make landfall," McArthur tweeted Sunday (Sept. 5) along with two photographs she took of the storm from space. 

While Larry won't hit the U.S. East Coast directly, it is already producing significant storm swells that "are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions," the National Hurricane Center said in an update.

Hurricane Larry arrives on the heels of another major storm, Hurricane Ida, which battered the Louisiana coast and brought catastrophic floods to parts of the eastern U.S. 

Astronauts at the International Space Station are often well-positioned to capture images of these colossal storms, as the station orbits at an altitude of about 250 miles (400 kilometers) and completes a trip around the globe every 90 minutes. 

Email Hanneke Weitering at hweitering@space.com or follow her @hannekescience. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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Hanneke Weitering

Hanneke Weitering is an editor at Space.com with 10 years of experience in science journalism. She has previously written for Scholastic Classroom Magazines, MedPage Today and The Joint Institute for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After studying physics at the University of Tennessee in her hometown of Knoxville, she earned her graduate degree in Science, Health and Environmental Reporting (SHERP) from New York University. Hanneke joined the Space.com team in 2016 as a staff writer and producer, covering topics including spaceflight and astronomy. She currently lives in Seattle, home of the Space Needle, with her cat and two snakes. In her spare time Hanneke likes to explore the Rocky Mountains, basking in nature and looking for dark skies to gaze at the cosmos.