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NASA captures night view of Isaac

NASA picture of Hurricane Isaac


As seen from space, Hurricane Isaac's storm clouds swirl across the lights of the Gulf Coast, stretching all the way from the Florida panhandle to the lights of Houston, Texas.

The moon provided enough light to clearly define the clouds generated by the hurricane* and the city lights below mimic the night sky and stars from this angle.

This amazing image was captured by the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi-NPP satellite and posted online by NASA.

The VIIRS can detect light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses light intensification to enable the detection of dim signals.

National Weather Service meteorologist Tim Schott called the storm "one for the history books" in The Los Angeles Times, because of Isaac’s span – tropical-force winds extended 175 miles from the storm center – and sluggish 6-mph movement over land.

*A hurricane is a tropical cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 74 mph (64 knots) or higher. In the western North Pacific, hurricanes are called typhoons; similar storms in the Indian Ocean and South Pacific Ocean are called cyclones.

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