“Talking to my crew mates, we realized that none of us had ever seen fires at such terrifying scale,” European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano tweeted on Monday as he shared alarming images of the as seen from the International Space Station.
The astronaut posted views showing what he described as “an immense ash cloud” captured at the time the ISS was flying toward sunset.
Parmitano is currently on board the ISS along with three NASA astronauts and two Roscosmos cosmonauts. They have witnessed numerous disasters unfold below, including and recent . But the crew hasn’t seen anything like the Australian fires.
Parmitano’s photos add to the devastating documentation of, which has run through rural communities, claiming houses, human lives and the .
The Australian government has even resorted toto fire-threatened wallaby populations in New South Wales.
Astronauts aren’t the only ones keeping an eye on the fires from orbit. A NASA and USGS Landsat 8 satellite image from Jan. 9 shows , home to nature reserves, with bushfire smoke spilling out across the ocean.