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  Image: Geographic Location Direction Photo #: ISS024-E-12920 Date: Aug. 2010
Geographic Region: LESSER ANTILLES
Feature: PAN-HURRICANE EARL, EYE, SPIRAL BANDS, SEA SURFACE, ISS

Ordering information for space photography
 
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  View Low-Resolution Image  
  Hurricane Earl - The Astronaut View

The relatively placid view from the International Space Station belied the potent forces at work in Hurricane Earl as it hovered over the tropical Atlantic Ocean on August 30. With maximum sustained winds of 135 miles (215 kilometers) per hour, the storm was classified as a category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale as it passed north of the Virgin Islands.

In this photograph captured with a digital SLR camera by NASA astronaut Douglas Wheelock, Earl had a distinct eye that spanned about 17 miles (28 kilometers). Most of the storm had a seemingly uniform top, though the bottom edge of the image gives some sense of the towering thunderheads forming over the ocean. The solar panels of the ISS remind us that the sun is still shining, at least on ISS Expedition 24.

Around the time of the photograph on August 30, the National Hurricane Center reported that Earl was centered near latitude 19.3 degrees North, longitude 64.7 degrees West, about 110 miles (180 kilometers) northeast of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The storm was moving west-northwest at 15 miles (24 km) per hour.

On the same day, scientists participating in NASA's Genesis and Rapid Intensification Processes field campaign snapped their own photos of the storm, which you can see here.

"Hurricane Earl is gathering some serious strength," Wheelock wrote from his perch on ISS. "It is incredible what a difference a day makes when you’re dealing with this force of nature. Please keep a watchful eye on this one...not sure if Earl will go quietly into the night like Danielle."
 
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Images: All Available Images Low-Resolution 187k
Mission: ISS024  
Roll - Frame: E - 12920
Geographical Name: LESSER ANTILLES  
Features: PAN-HURRICANE EARL, EYE, SPIRAL BANDS, SEA SURFACE, ISS  
Center Lat x Lon: 19.5N x 64.5W
Film Exposure:   N=Normal exposure, U=Under exposed, O=Over exposed, F=out of Focus
Percentage of Cloud Cover-CLDP: 100
 
Camera: N2
 
Camera Tilt: HO   LO=Low Oblique, HO=High Oblique, NV=Near Vertical
Camera Focal Length: 35  
 
Nadir to Photo Center Direction: E   The direction from the nadir to the center point, N=North, S=South, E=East, W=West
Stereo?:   Y=Yes there is an adjacent picture of the same area, N=No there isn't
Orbit Number: 3522  
 
Date: 20100830   YYYYMMDD
Time: 212611   GMT HHMMSS
Nadir Lat: 21.5N  
Latitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Nadir Lon: 74.1W  
Longitude of suborbital point of spacecraft
Sun Azimuth: 270   Clockwise angle in degrees from north to the sun measured at the nadir point
Space Craft Altitude: 189   nautical miles
Sun Elevation: 24   Angle in degrees between the horizon and the sun, measured at the nadir point
Land Views:  
Water Views: OCEAN  
Atmosphere Views: HURRICANE  
Man Made Views:  
City Views:  
Photo is not associated with any sequences


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