Hurricane Irene from the air
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Hurricane Irene pictured from space by ISS

As the US braces for the arrival of Hurricane Irene, images showing the extent of the storm have been transmitted from the International Space Station.

The first hurricane of the Atlantic season is a category three storm, packing winds of 115mph (185km/h), and expected to get stronger.

The expanding hurricane is now 580 miles (933km) wide and forecast to reach category four ahead of its expected arrival in North Carolina on Saturday.

It is then expected to weaken as it moves up the east coast, diminishing in strength to a still-powerful category two storm on Sunday.

Go to next video: Irene is 'once in a generation storm'