WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Last week, the Raikoke volcano, located on the Kuril Islands in the Pacific, erupted for the first time since 1924.
- The blast from the eruption was so high that orbiting satellites and astronauts on the International Space Station could spot it from space.
- Keeping tabs on large eruptions is important because the ash contains fragments of volcanic glass that can be hazardous to flying aircraft.
The Raikoke volcano in the Pacific Ocean erupted last week for the first time in almost a century.
Raikoke is found in the Kuril Islands, off the coast of Russia just north of Hokkaido, Japan. Its eruption on June 22, created a mushroom-shaped ash plume that rocketed skyward from the volcano’s 2,300-foot-wide crater.
The blast was so intense that it broke through the clouds and could be seen from space, according to The Insider. Satellites in orbit caught the eruption on camera, and astronauts on board the International Space Station could see it, too.
In a NASA press release, volcanologist Simon Carn said the plume may have exceeded a height of 10 miles.
NASA’s Terra satellite captured a second image of the volcano, showing brown volcanic debris emerging through clouds in the stratosphere.
Keeping track of volcanic plumes that breach that stratosphere — which starts about 33,000 feet (6.2 miles) above the ground — is imperative because such eruptions can affect airplanes, The Insider reports. The ash plumes consist of fragments of volcanic glass and rock that can wreak havoc on the machinery of nearby aircraft.
According to NASA, official volcanic-ash advisory centers in Tokyo and Anchorage, Alaska, have been tracking the plume since the eruption and have alerted aviators.
The blast injected “large sulfur dioxide amounts” into the stratosphere, Carn said.
But just after 24 hours since Raikoke erupts, NASA satellites showed that the dark ash cloud had dissipated and no longer stood out against the stratosphere’s white canvas.
Source: Business Insider