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Space station orbits over three hurricanes in epic time-lapse video

Astronauts on the International Space Station gaze down at three powerful hurricanes churning on Earth.

Hurricanes are scary enough at ground level. View them from space and they look almost unreal, like special effects created in a movie studio. NASA released a time-lapse video on Tuesday showing the International Space Station orbiting over three separate hurricanes. They look both massive and frightening from the station's orbital vantage point.

In order, the video shows twin hurricanes Lester and Madeline in the Pacific Ocean and then Gaston in the Atlantic Ocean.

Both Lester and Madeline pose a potential threat to the Hawaiian Islands. Gaston is kicking across the Atlantic with wind speeds reaching 100 mph (about 160 kph). Lester is hitting 130 mph (210 kph), according to the National Hurricane Center, and Madeline is reaching 90 mph (150 kph).

Astronauts on the space station often bear witness to dramatic Earth weather. Last year, European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti captured a stunning image of a typhoon eye seen from space. But not every photo shared from above is of a potential natural disaster. There are also plenty of views of beautiful natural phenomenons like glowing auroras to balance out the equation.