As Irene moves in on North Carolina, NASA satellite photos shows its diameter is now about one-third the length of the whole U.S. Atlantic coastline.

NOAA's GOES-13 satellite saw Irene as a tropical depression forming off the African coast and then as a hurricane moving through the Bahamas Thursday morning.

The GOES-13 image shows Irene to be almost one-third the size of the U.S. East Coast.

A NASA Television YouTube video here shows new views of the storm as it churned over the Bahamas at Wednesday afternoon. The video, captured 230 miles above the Earth by cameras on the International Space Station, reveals that Irene is moving northwest as a Category 3 hurricane, packing winds of 120 miles an hour. Irene is expected to strengthen to a Category 4 storm as it heads toward the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the Eastern Seaboard and the middle Atlantic and New England states.

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