Rare eruption of Raikoke Volcano snapped from ISS

Shane McGlaun - Jun 27, 2019, 7:28 am CDT
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Rare eruption of Raikoke Volcano snapped from ISS

The image here was snapped by astronauts on the ISS recently and shows a very rare eruption of the Raikoke Volcano on the Kuril Islands on the Kamchatka Peninsula. This volcano rarely erupts, and it’s very long dormant period ended on June 22. The last recorded eruptions of the volcano were in 1924 and in 1778.

The current eruption started on June 22, 2019, at 4:00 a.m. local time. The vast plume of smoke and ash seen in the image bellowed out of the 700-meter wide crater and was picked up by several satellites and astronauts on the ISS. The heavy plume of smoke and ash was pulled into the circulation of a storm in the North Pacific ocean.

The image here was taken on the morning of June 22 by an astronaut on the ISS. The volcanic plume rose in a narrow column until it spreads out greatly when the density of the plume and the density of the surrounding air equalize, causing the plume to stop rising. The white ring of clouds near the plume’s base are thought to be water vapor.

Scientist Simon Carn says that the white, puffy clouds at its base are a sign of ambient air being drawn into the column and the condensation of water vapor. The scientist also noted that the water vapor could be caused by an interaction of magma and seawater because Raikoke is a small island, and the lava flaws are expected to have entered the water.

Another image taken by the NASA Terra satellite showed that the most concentrated ash was on the western edge of the plume above the island. Reports for aviators signaled that the ash had reached an altitude of 8 miles while satellites indicated that some parts of the plume might have reached 10 miles in altitude. The eruption also emitted concentrated sulfur dioxide gas that swirled throughout the North Pacific as the plume was drawn into the storm.


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