Stunning Sarychev Peak picture from the NASA Earth Observatory 19 June 2009Posted by admin in NASA Earth Observatory, Russia, Sarychev Peak, volcano images.
Tags: NASA Earth Observatory, Russia, Sarychev Peak, satellite images, volcano images
The people at the NASA Earth Observatory have been doing a wonderful job of covering the current eruption at Sarychev Peak in the Kuril Islands, but they have really excelled themselves with their latest image: this stunning astronaut photograph of the volcano taken from the International Space Station on 12 June 2009, at an early stage of this eruption. There’s so much of interest to talk about here: the dark ashy plume punching upwards through the atmosphere almost vertically (little shearing wind at this stage), the pileus or cap of white cloud atop the plume, the pyroclastic flows ringing the volcano’s peak, and the neat circle in the surrounding cloud that has been the focus of much discussion among commenters over at Eruptions. Mostly, though, one just wants to sit back and look at this picture and go ‘WOW’.
Here’s a detail taken from the large version of the image. The light-coloured pyroclastic flow descending the volcano’s flanks towards the bottom of the image is an absolute beauty:
The original (un-rotated and un-cropped) image can be found at the Gateway to Astronaut Photography of the Earth.
NASA Earth Observatory: Sarychev Peak eruption, Kuril Islands (18 June 2009)
[Date corrected to 12 June - got so excited over the image, I'd put July. Thanks, Martin!]
UPDATE: The image above is just one of thirty pictures of the eruption taken from the International Space Station. Boris Behncke has submitted a very helpful comment explaining how to get hold of all of them via the Gateway to Astronaut Photography: check out his comment below for the instructions.
FURTHER UPDATE (25 June 2009): This dramatic image has achieved very wide coverage across the media since the NASA Earth Observatory featured it, and the ‘circle in the clouds’ around the eruption column in particular has attracted a lot of comment and debate. At the original Earth Observatory page for the image an editorial comment has been added summarizing the different interpretations of this phenomenon (scroll down to ‘Editor’s note’) without coming down in favour of any particular explanation. Here at The Volcanism Blog we’ll have more to say about this image tomorrow next week (been very busy, sorry).
For all our Sarychev Peak coverage: Sarychev Peak « The Volcanism Blog.
Global Volcanism Program: Sarychev Peak – summary information for Sarychev Peak (0900-24=)
Sakhalin Volcanic Eruption Response Team (SVERT) – organization monitoring Kuril volcanoes
SVERT status reports – current and archived alerts and status reports