NASA Releases Incredible Image Of Hurricane Isaac From Space

Shot at night, you can see the lights of cities poking through the storm

Hurricane isaac
Hurricane isaac
NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using VIIRS Day Night Band data

Captured in the early hours of the morning of August 28, this shot from NASA's Suomo-NPP satellite captures the full size and scope of tropical storm/hurricane Isaac as it hit the Gulf Coast. Despite being shot at night, the technology of the satellite allows for incredible clarity and detail, thanks to the VIIRS — Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite, and some handy moonlight illumination.

Here's the official caption:

Early on August 28, 2012, the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi-NPP satellite captured this nighttime view of Tropical Storm Isaac and the cities near the Gulf Coast of the United States. The image was acquired just after local midnight by the VIIRS “day-night band,” which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses light intensification to enable the detection of dim signals. In this case, the clouds of Isaac were lit by moonlight.

You can download a full 12-megapixel version on NASA's site, and in the meantime, cross your fingers for everyone being blasted by the storm.

[via NBC]