NASA video shows life of Hurricane Sandy

Space agency's 20-second satellite video shows hurricane from birth to landfall

NASA has released a time-lapsed video of Hurricane Sandy, showing the storm move from its birth in the Caribbean to when it made landfall on the East Coast of the U.S.

The catastrophic super storm slammed into the East Coast late Monday afternoon, flooding subways, washing cars away on city streets, leaving millions without power and causing the deaths of at least 48 people in the U.S.

On Tuesday, NASA released a time-lapsed animation pieced together with images from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) GOES satellites.

The satellites, also known as Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites, captured a global view of the hurricane from when it first came together on Oct. 21 as Tropical Storm Sandy in the Caribbean Sea, intensified into a hurricane as it moved up the Atlantic Ocean, made landfall in New Jersey on Monday and then moved inland.

Developed by NASA, the satellites are designed to aid meteorologists and climate scientists.

The satellites circle the Earth at a speed that matches the planet's own rotation, according to NOAA. Because of the matching speed, the satellites are able to continuously hover over one position about 22,000 miles above the Earth's surface.

By holding that fixed position, they are able to steadily monitor and track severe weather conditions, such as tornadoes, hurricanes and flash floods.

NOAA's GOES satellites captured a global view of Hurricane Sandy's birth to landfall. (Credit: NASA GOES Project)

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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