Astronaut snaps stunning photos of massive Hurricane Sam from space

Megan McArthur, NASA astronaut, shared an image of Hurricane Sam taken from the International Space Station on September 29, 2021.
Megan McArthur, a NASA astronaut, shared three photos from Hurricane Sam as seen by the International Space Station. These images show the storm's massive clouds and distinctive eye.

Hurricane Sam is not threatening anyone on land, and it's cruising over the Atlantic Ocean. However, astronauts who live and work in orbit are required to photograph Earth from space. Sam is doing this.

"Another hurricane?" McArthur tweeted, "I don't like them Sam I Am," referring to the Dr. Seuss classic, "Green Eggs and Ham."

Related: Hurricane Ida in space: Photos by astronauts and satellites

The storm is currently east of Puerto Rico. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Hurricane Center, the hurricane will also pass east of Bermuda on Saturday (Oct.2) and then south of Canada's coastal provinces on Monday (Oct.4).

The center currently emphasizes the threat of high swells off the Atlantic coast and Atlantic islands.

Hurricane Sam formed on Sept. 22 at approximately midway between South America, Africa, and then quickly intensified into a hurricane.

The storm is currently maintaining winds close to 130 mph (215 km/h), making it a category 4 hurricane. However, the National Hurricane Center expects that this rating will fluctuate as the storm moves on.

Hurricane Sam is the 18th tropical storm named in this year's hurricane season. It began June 1, and ends November 30,. There are only three storm names left on the standard list. However, unlike last year's hurricane season, which was based on letters of the Greek alphabet and later storms were named using Greek alphabet letters, this year's hurricane season has a second list with more traditional names that begins with Adria, ending with Will.

Megan McArthur, a NASA astronaut shared a view from the space station of Hurricane Sam on September 29, 2021. NASA image credit

Hurricane Sam is less dangerous than some of this year’s other storms like Grace, Ida, and Larry. However, this speaks to the severity the 2021 hurricane season which was forecast to be especially difficult.

The impact of carbon emissions has been evident in many weather phenomena, including hurricanes. Climate change is not responsible for specific storms. However, it can increase the likelihood of stronger storms due to warmer waters that feed hurricanes. It also increases the water volume that the air can hold. Moreover, rising sea levels make people more susceptible to the effects of storms.