NASA's International Space Station captures images of Raikoke volcano erupting

The Raikoke volcano situated in the Pacific Ocean erupted after a dormant period of 95 years.


Raikoke volcano, in the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Pacific Ocean, erupted after 95 years on 22 June. The next big news — the International Space Station (ISS) captured images of it.

The last time this small island erupted was in 1924 and before that in 1778, so needless to say, it's a rare occasion. But this time around, ISS was at the right place at the right time.

This breathtaking moment was viewed by several satellites and astronauts onboard the ISS. The smoke from the volcano rose in a thin stream and then spread out into the umbrella region that is at the top of the eruption column. The mouth of this volcano is 700 metres in diameter.

 NASAs International Space Station captures images of Raikoke volcano erupting

Raikokoe volcano erupts. Image credit: NASA/Earth Observatory

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite and the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (Suomi NPP) also captured a few images.

A statement from NASA said that after the initial activity, the eruptions abated and strong winds spread the ash over the Pacific Ocean. By the next day, MODIS could only view faint remnants of the ash.

There are concerns about aviation in that area as the ash from volcanoes can contain fragments of rocks and glass. The Tokyo and Anchorage Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers have been keeping a close watch on the situation. Sulphur dioxide was released into the air during the Raikoke eruption and satellite sensors are tracking the gases.

Ash that reaches the stratosphere tends to stay longer in the air and can affect the climate and aviation and hence it is being observed Volcanologists. The memory of the aftermath of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano is still fresh for the aviation disruption it caused in the northern hemisphere.


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