June 25, 2009
Volcanic activity has always had a deeper significance for me, especially those west of NYC, as I have always seen the end of time starting with a volcanic explosion, be it a physical volcano, or a metaphor for the explosion of consciousness - like a stroke (of midnight).
This week, when Live Science featured the article below, I sent it to a friend and told her this is very important, though I'm not as yet sure why. Not far away, if you look at the map below, is Alaska, where earthquake and volcanic activity run high - Mt. Redoubt remaining active having given us a lightning show this year. We also wonder if Mt. St. Helens rests above a supervolcano ... and what about the Yellowstone Caldera?
Sarychev Peak Volcano in Stereo NASA - June 25, 2009
The active volcano is located in Russia's Kuril Island chain, stretching to the northeast of Japan. Emphasizing the orbital perspective, this stunning color stereo view was made by combining two images from the ISS and is intended to be viewed with red/blue glasses (red for the left eye).
Punching upwards into the atmosphere at an early stage of the eruption, the volcanic plume features a brown column of ash topped with a smooth, bubble-like, white cloud that is likely water condensation. Below, a cloud of denser grey ash slides down the volcanic slope. About 1.5 kilometers of the island coastline is visible at ground level. The evolving ash plume posed no danger to the Expedition 20 crew, but commercial airline flights were diverted away from the region to minimize the danger of engine failures from ash intake.
Amazing Volcano Photo Reveals Shock Wave Live Science - June 22, 2009
The new photo was taken June 12 from the International Space Station. NASA says volcano researchers are excited about the picture "because it captures several phenomena that occur during the earliest stages of an explosive volcanic eruption." The main plume appears to be a combination of brown ash and white steam, according to a NASA statement. The vigorously rising plume gives the steam a bubble-like appearance The surrounding atmosphere has been shoved up by the shock wave of the eruption, scientists said.
Volcano plumes are so chaotic that they produce lightning, as revealed in pictures for the first time earlier this year.
The smooth white cloud on top may be water condensation that resulted from rapid rising and cooling of the air mass above the ash column. This cloud is probably a transient feature, scientists say, with the eruption plume is starting to punch through. The cloud casts a dark shadow to the northwest of the island.
Often, winds high in the atmosphere sheer a volcano's plume and flatten it out. That didn't happen with this one.
The photo also shows a ground-hugging plume of light gray ash, probably a mix of hot gas and ash in what volcanologists call a pyroclastic flow, descending from the volcano summit. Pyroclastic flows - deadly to anything or anyone in their paths - are known to be up to 600 degrees and rush across the land at 130 mph.
Commercial airline flights are being diverted away from the region to minimize the danger of engine failures from ash intake.
Gallery - 15 Images of Wild Volcanoes Live Science
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