Astronauts snap volcano erupting after nearly a century of silence

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Astronauts snap volcano erupting after nearly a century of silence

It's a good thing Raikoke, part of the Kuril Islands that trace a line between Russian Federation and Japan, is uninhabited.

On the morning of June 22, at around 4 a.m, Raikoke Volcano on the Kuril Islands in Russia's Sakhalin Oblas region exploded in a rare eruption, shooting a vast plume of ash and volcanic gases from its 2,296-foot wide crater.

According to "Popular mechanics", the volcano woke up after nearly 100 years of silence and in 12 hours made nine volcanic explosions, billowing in the air the ash cloud.

In this highest zone of a volcanic plume, known as the umbrella region, the ash cloud's density equalizes with the density of the air around it, and the plume's rise slows and then stops, according to NASA. You can also see a ring of clouds around the column, possibly the result of water vapor condensation or the "interaction between magma and seawater", says Simon Carn, a volcanologist at Michigan Tech. The volcanic island is in the Kuril Island chain, near the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russian Federation. Before that, an eruption was recorded in 1778.

One of the images was shot by an Expedition 59 astronaut at the International Space Station on the morning of the eruption.

Raikoke as seen from space on June 22. Data from the CALIPSO satellite launched in 2006 by NASA and the French government space agency CNES suggests that parts of the plume may have reached 10 miles up.

Raikoke volcano is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, where the Pacific tectonic plate clashes with other tectonic plates, leading to a large number of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. A day after Raikoke erupted, which by the way means "Hellmouth" in the Ainu language, it was all over.

The next image was captured with an instrument on NASA's Terra satellite, called MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer.) Ash was concentrated on the western side of the volcano, and was diffused on the east by the action of the storm north of it. The Tokyo and Anchorage Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers tracked the plume issued several notes to aviators indicating that ash had reached an altitude of 8 miles. Satellites are being used to track the ash as it can pose a hazard to passing aircraft, NASA said.

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