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April 1, 2014
(9 Sept. 2011) --- Hurricane Katia off the northeastern USA coastline is featured in this image photographed by an Expedition 28 crew member on the International Space Station. Hurricane Katia had diminished to Category 1 strength on the Saffir-Simpson scale at the time this photograph was taken, but it still presented an impressive cloud circulation as its center passed by the northeastern USA coastline on Sept. 9, 2011. The storm had reached Category 4 strength earlier on Sept. 5, making it the second major hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic hurricane season. Katia remained over open waters of the Atlantic Ocean during its lifetime, unlike two preceding storms of the season -- Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee -- both of which made landfall on the continental USA. The approximate center of Hurricane Katia is visible at lower right, with its outer cloud bands extending across the center of the view. A small part of the State of New York -- including Long Island and the Hudson River -- is visible through a gap in the cloud cover at lower left. The Hudson River has a chocolate brown coloration due to heavy loading with sediment, a consequence of flooding and erosion of the upstream watershed from the heavy precipitation of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. A plume of sediment is just visible entering the Atlantic Ocean on the southern coastline of Long Island, directly to the south of the New York City metropolitan area (partially obscured by clouds). Crew members on the International Space Station have the opportunity to take images like this one by looking outwards at an angle through space station windows, much like taking photographs of the ground from a commercial airliner window -- albeit from an average altitude of approximately 400 kilometers.

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