Hurricane Florence Pictures From Space: NASA Captures Incredible Photos of Storm

As Hurricane Florence makes its way towards the East Coast and Americans watch it from the safety of their homes, NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station have been watching it from space.

German Astronaut Alexander Gerst shared photos on his Twitter account of what the powerful storm looked like from his view in outer space.

"Ever stared down the gaping eye of a Category 4 hurricane?" Gerst wrote on Twitter. "It's chilling, even from space."

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German Astronaut Alexander Gerst took photos of Hurricane Florence from the International Space Station. ESA/NASA

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The eye of Hurricane Florence is captured in a photo from the International Space Station. ESA/NASA

Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall on Thursday evening into Friday morning, hitting the Carolina coast especially hard. Although the storm was downgraded to a Category 2 on Thursday morning, officials warned residents to not get lulled into complacency because there was still a high probability the storm would cause life-threatening floods.

"Even though right now [Hurricane Florence] is a Category 2, it's only a few miles difference between a Category 3, and it is a wider storm now," Tammy Proctor from Pender County Emergency Management told Newsweek. "It's extremely important that people not let their guard down because they saw it go from 4 to 3 to 2."

Gerst explained in another tweet that because of the size of Hurricane Florence, the storm could only be captured with a very wide-angle lens. He advised the East Coast to prepare because the storm is a "no-kidding nightmare."

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In a third tweet, Gerst posted two photos of the same image to highlight the importance of the big picture. In a cropped version of the photo, the storm looks small and harmless; however, a second photo shows the magnitude of the hurricane.

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A photo of Hurricane Florence taken from the International Space Station. ESA/NASA
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A photo taken from the International Space Station shows Hurricane Florence. ESA/NASA

The photos were taken from the Cupola observatory following a request from mission control, according to NASA. Photos from the International Space Station can complement data from earth observation satellites so astronauts are occasionally asked to take pictures of the planet.

"Even orbiting our planet from such heights the size of the hurricane is incredibly impressive and humbling," NASA wrote.

American Astronaut Ricky Arnold tweeted some of the photos of the storm and shared that everyone on the International Space Station is keeping people who are in the storm's path in their thoughts.

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Hurricane Florence, now a Category 2 storm, is seen from the International Space Station. ESA/NASA
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Hurricane Florence, which is expected to bring life-threatening flooding to the East Coast, is seen in a photo taken from the International Space Station. ESA/NASA

North Carolina is expected to be hit hardest by Hurricane Florence. On Thursday, the National Weather Service (NWS) issued flash flood warnings for over 40 areas of the state. Ten areas of South Carolina were placed under a flash flood warning and Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia also have the potential to experience flash floods.

"This is a very dangerous storm," Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long said during a press conference Thursday. "Inland flooding kills a lot of people unfortunately and that's what we're about to see."

FEMA also warned residents of an extended power outage, possibly lasting days, and encouraged people to help each other in the wake of the storm.

Hurricane Florence Pictures From Space: NASA Captures Incredible Photos of Storm | U.S.