"I took 45,000 pictures of the world.... and sent as many of them as I could down in real time to try and let people to the best of my ability see that perspective as it looked through my eyes," Hadfield told KOMO News. "And a lot of people came on board and shared it and that perspective is good for us all."
From towering, snow-capped volcanoes to intricate swirls off the the Italian coastlines, his gallery is a treasure trove of information about our home and showcases many planetary features that can't be appreciated the same way from the ground.
Satellite images are one of the most important tools a meteorologist uses in making a forecast -- right up there with the computer forecast models we run. But sometimes its looks can be deceiving.
Sometimes you can see what looks like a huge storm approaching, only to find it's barely got enough rain to wet the ground. Other times what looks just like a harmless batch of clouds rapidly turns into a monster-sized storm.
With two great examples of this just in the past few weeks, I thought it'd be neat to showcase how the computer models and satellite images work hand-in-hand. You might think they are two independent systems -- and in a sense, they are -- but their effectiveness is greatly reduced without one being hand-held by the other.
It doesn't matter whether you live below the clouds like most of us, or are on a mission high above like those on the International Space Station, the Earth can be a very beautiful place, especially at night.
The numbers are unreal. Sustained winds of 195 mph. Gusts to 235 mph. It's not Hollywood, it's an actual storm -- a Super Typhoon -- that was bearing down on the Philippines with strength mankind rarely sees.
"The city of Seattle is a very diverse city offering everything from industrial to artistic; crowded to vacant, the hustle and bustle of a large city mixed with quiet ocean side parks," Jensen wrote on his Vimeo page presenting the project. "The ultimate goal was to present a video that would show what a person could see as they made their way through and around the city in the course of a day or two."
Traditionally, Super Bowls have been played either in Florida, Arizona or California -- spots where you would expect to find warm, sunny weather in the dead of winter -- or if in more northern locales, in a domed stadium.
But this year at least, the NFL is trying something different. The 2014 Super Bowl is being held in Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey just outside New York City -- about as synonymous to warm, sunny weather in February as Canada. And at least if the Farmer's Almanac is right, it might look like a poor choice with predictions of a big snowstorm there the weekend of Feb. 2.
But now that the precedent has been set for a northern team in an outdoor stadium to host a Super Bowl, why not Seattle? The odds of a February super snow storm hitting here during a Super Bowl are certainly less than New Jersey's (although admittedly, not zero).
Kids in the Northwest are well versed in coming up with Halloween costumes that are not only scary, but somewhat waterproof. It seems like it rains on every Halloween, but guess what? In reality, it's about a coin flip as to whether any given year will feature the need for mylar and rubber.
The National Weather Service sent out a note of the past 10 Halloweens and sure enough, it has rained at some point on seven of them, although only five had measurable rain. That's about on par with the long-historical average since going back 120 years, we've had measurable rain on 65 of them, or roughly 50/50. (There has been a trace of snow in both 1935 and 1984.)
With the Seattle Seahawks square in the national spotlight this year amid dreams of a Super Bowl season, those who have been watching the games here and around the nation have been treated to not just our dominating defense, our powerful offense and our ear-shattering 12th Man but also a solid reinforcement of Seattle's rainy reputation.
I'm sure many thought whoever had the bright idea to move the team and fans out of the comfy, climate-controlled confines of the Kingdome years ago and build an open air stadium for the heart of Seattle's stormy season must have been "a few yards short of a first down" in the brain department.
But should playing a game in Seattle automatically be linked to a drenching rain as Lambeau and Soldier Fields often mean playing in -15° wind chills?
Before these past few games, I didn't really remember too many rainy or cold games there, so I decided to go back and check the weather over every regular season home game that has been played at Seahawks Stadium/Qwest Field/CenturyLink Field since it opened in 2002.
The goal: To see just how many times it's rained on the 12th Man, how many times it's been chilly or hot, and how windy it's ever been. The answer was surprising to me: Despite playing in the heart of the worst weather on Seattle's meteorological calendar, Mother Nature has gone relatively easy on us.
Just don't tell that to the San Francisco 49ers, who seem to bring out the worst in Seattle weather.
Take a look at this little bit of time lapse video of the fog rolling into Seattle Wednesday evening, as filmed from our KOMO tower cams atop Queen Anne and the Columbia Center. It sure has been quite the show around here!
Despite the week-plus of fog and stagnant air, the greater Puget Sound region has managed to dodge a burn ban and air quality advisories as so far, air quality has maintained at good to moderate levels through the period.
In measuring air quality, anything under 50 on the Air Quality Index (AQI) is considered good and 50-100 is moderate. Seattle has peaked around 65-75 in the period and has spent a good chunk of time under 50.
How have we managed that? Luckily, it hasn't been too cold overnight.
The mild overnight temperatures -- only dropping into the mid-upper 40s -- have helped curtail wood burning and prevented us from reaching levels unhealthy for sensitive groups in many areas in our region up to this point, says Erik Saganic, Puget Sound Clean Air Agency meteorologist. So pat yourselves on the back for not burning wood stoves and needing a burn ban!
It is a marvel of human technology that in fog so dense that driving just 35 mph on a local Seattle street still has you straining to see that traffic light just a half-block away, a plane traveling well over 100 mph on final approach can not only find, but land with pinpoint accuracy on an invisible airport runway -- and still find its way back to the terminal.
In years past, the answer was just to divert inbound planes somewhere where it wasn't foggy and not allow outbound planes to leave until the fog lifted. But no more. Now Sea-Tac Airport, as many others across the globe, has an Instrument Landing System that helps transmit signals to help incoming planes find their way.