Erupting Volcano Captured On Camera From Space

By Meera Dolasia on June 26, 2009

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On June 12th, just as the International Space Station was orbiting above Japan, the Sarychev Peak, one of the world's most active volcanoes, came to life, enabling astronauts to take some amazing, never before seen, pictures.

Among the most unique features captured is the 'pileus cloud', a layer of mist or condensing water that sits above the plume of ash, just as the volcano erupts. While volcanologists have known about it, they have never been able to photograph it, since it dissipates shortly after the eruption.

Also caught on tape, is a huge pyroclastic flow. This is the flow of super-hot rock that precedes red-hot lava, and is even more deadly, destroying everything in its path.

The scientists also noticed that as the volcano erupts, the clouds seem to drift away. They are not sure whether it is the impact of the eruption that causes them to scatter away or that they simply evaporate, due to the warmer air from the rising ash. The pictures taken by the astronauts will allow them to observe and determine which of those theories is actually true.

The Sarychev peak is part of an active cluster of islands off of Japan's Hokkaido Island. The June 12th eruption was its first in 20 years, but its impact was felt as high as 5 miles and as wide 1,500 miles on land. While commercial flights were impacted, the astronauts were fine, since the International Space Station orbits the earth from a height of 2,200 miles.

source: Dailymail.co.uk

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72 Comments
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  • susie
    susie1/16/2014
    cool!!!!!!!!
    • cool10/27/2013
      those event are cool.
      • frostkitty
        frostkitty1/5/2013
        WOW
        • diamonds123
          diamonds12311/7/2012
          unbelevable
          • jellybelly123
            jellybelly12310/28/2012
            OMG
            • alltech25
              alltech2510/28/2012
              Wow!!
              • a10/24/2012
                awsome this is so fasernating
                • robloxman
                  robloxman9/20/2012
                  awsome
                  • maggie7k6d6/5/2012
                    WOW that is so cool
                    • like5/23/2012
                      LOL

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