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These Satellite Images Show Just How Powerful Hurricane Irma Is

The Category 5 storm made landfall in the Caribbean island of Barbuda early on Wednesday.

Last updated on September 6, 2017, at 9:09 a.m. ET

Posted on September 6, 2017, at 6:27 a.m. ET

Hurricane Irma — one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the Atlantic — made landfall early Wednesday as it swallowed the Caribbean island of Barbuda.

Late afternoon sun casting a shadow on Hurricane #Irma's eye. #GOES16

The sheer strength of the hurricane was captured from space by NASA's satellites, with the agency releasing stunning images via its social media accounts on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

NASA's SPoRT project — or Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center, which helps the weather forecasting community use NASA observations and research to improve their short-term predictions — released satellite footage of the sun casting a shadow on the eye of the storm on Tuesday evening.

SPoRT said the Category 5 storm had maximum sustained winds of 185 mph as the eye approached landfall in Barbuda on Wednesday morning.

The agency also released a zoomed-out view of the clip.

This image, from the National Hurricane Center's GOES-16 satellite, gives another view of Irma.

Noaa / Reuters

NASA also released footage taken from the external cameras of the International Space Station as the storm barreled across the Atlantic on Tuesday.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Irma has been described as "potentially catastrophic" by the National Hurricane Center, and is set to head across a portion of the Caribbean towards the Florida peninsula by the end of the week.

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