Posted at 12:17 PM ET, 08/23/2011

Hurricane Irene as seen from space (Photo)

Hurricane Irene from space. (NASA/)
As Hurricane Irene approaches the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos, leaving behind destruction in the Caribbean, NASA has provided an awe-inspiring (see: less depressing) view of the storm from space. The image, taken Monday around 3 p.m. ET, outlines Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to show the storm’s massive size.

The Category 2 hurricane is expected to reach the U.S. Friday, most likely as a Category 3 or 4 storm, the Capital Weather Gang reports. It’s not clear if the hurricane will come inland or just go along the East Coast.

The storm has already caused widespread damage in Puerto Rico, as BlogPost’s Melissa Bell reported. Images from the scene show flooding and downed trees, displaying Irene’s destructive nature.

Astronaut Ron Garan also provided a view of Irene from above. He tweeted (yes, tweeted) a picture of the hurricane passing through the Caribbean on Monday from the International Space Station. (Hat tip to for pointing this out.) Check out the image, and a video of the storm from space, below.

A view of Hurrican Irene from space. (NASA/Ron Garan Twitter )

By  |  12:17 PM ET, 08/23/2011

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