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The ISS is watching you June 27, 2009

Posted by Sarah in pics, science.
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This week the Big Picture ran a series of pictures taken from the ISS looking down at Earth. It’s a great reminder that the Earth is in fact a very beautiful place and we should be honoured to be able to live here and experience it. Seeing the variety of colours and landscapes from the sky is a solitary consolation prize for spending so much time in airplanes. Being a total volcano nut, of course the pictures of the recent eruption of the Sarychev Peak volcano in the Russian Kuril Islands are my favourites. (more…)

Alaskan volcano erupts March 25, 2009

Posted by Sarah in geology, pics, science.
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Location of Mt. Redoubt (Image: J. Schaefer/AVO/ADGGS)

It’s a good week for gelogy nerds. After last week’s undersea volcanic eruption in the South Pacific, the Alaskan volcano Mt. Redoubt erupted violently several times last weekend, and continues to rumble. Ash clouds rose to about 16 km according the Alaskan Volcano Observatory (AVO) and the eruption caused significant flooding (see this cool picture). The Alaskan volcanoes form part of the Pacific Ring of Fire which is littered with active volcanoes and a frequent site for earthquakes and eruptions.

Check out the AVO page on Redoubt for updates or follow on Twitter.

**Update, 29/03/09** Redoubt isn’t done erupting yet, more explosive eruptions took place in the last couple of days. The AVO Twitter feed is the best way of keeping up to date!

Webcam image of Redoubt erupting on Saturday. (Image: AVO/USGS)

Webcam image of Redoubt erupting on Saturday. (Image: AVO/USGS)

**Update, 30 March 09**. Explosive eruptions have continued at Redoubt in thel last few days and AVO is reporting the first ash falling on Achorage. There’s no danger to the population though. More spectacular pictures have appeared on the AVO website, this one is particularly striking.

Lightning during one of Redoubt's eruption events on 28 March (image credit: Higman, Bretwood)

Lightning during one of Redoubt's eruption events on 28 March (image credit: Higman, Bretwood)

Big Picture: Volcano violence March 21, 2009

Posted by Sarah in geology, pics, science.
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The Big Picture series in the Boston Globe has had two awesome features this week. The first is a series of photos of the undersea volcano that erupted near the South Pacic island group of Tonga, triggering a series of earthquakes and a tsunami warning. The Guardian is reporting today that the eruption has created a new landmass in the Tongan archipelago. Amazing! The Earth can kick our asses any day.

Image credit: AP Photo/Trevor Gregory

Awesome Kilauea October 13, 2008

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Hawaiian volcano Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, erupting more or less continuously since 1983. One of five volcanoes that make up the island of Hawaii (the others are Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea, Hualalai and Kohala), Kilauea has had 61 recorded historic eruptions, with no less than 34 times since 1952. In Hawaiian, “Kilauea” means “spewing” – yeah, no sh*t! In recent months the volcano’s has been particularly unsettled, with several explosive eruptions taking place. The most recent one of these took place on 12 October, and USGS cameras recorded the event. Watch it below, it’s *so* awesome.

For detailed information on Kilauea’s daily activity, check out the status page on the USGS’s dedicated Hawaiian Volcano Observatory website. The USGS Volcano Hazards Program publish regular updates on all the world’s major volcanoes. For a natural disasters geek like me it’s fantastic (as is their earthquake notification service – but I’ll talk about that another time).

You can even follow the USGS on Twitter!