The monster in moonlight: striking satellite image shows Irma churning north in the dead of night

As Hurricane Irma continued to churn north over Florida early in the morning of Sept. 11, the Suomi NPP spacecraft passed overhead and sent back this dramatic image.

In the image, acquired by a nighttime sensor called the “Day/Night Band” on the satellite’s VIIRS instrument, the hurricane is illuminated by the relatively faint light of the moon.

But the image reveals more than that. “In addition to the cloud structures, this band can help identify power outages,” writes Scott Lindstrom

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