Raikoke eruption seen from space: photo

Satellites captured the eruption of the Raikoke volcano on the Kuril Islands.
© Riccardo Rossi
The lava release during the eruption on June 22 was so powerful that even astronauts at the ISS could see the smoke. They observed as a plume of smoke rose and then streamed east as it was pulled into the circulation of a storm in the North Pacific. The eruption began at 4:00 a.m. local time, the image was taken in the morning.
The volcano sent a plume of ash with fragments of rock and volcanic glass 13 to 17 kilometers above sea level, but there were no accidents associated with the eruption. There were nine volcanic explosions within 12 hours.
551-meter-tall Raikoke is an active stratovolcano located on Raikoke Island of the Greater Kuril Chain. Its crater is about 700 meters wide and 200 meters deep. The eruption was a surprise to seismologists, as there were no anomalies and prerequisites for the volcanic activity.
According to Marina Chibisova, senior fellow at the volcanology laboratory of the Institute of Marine Geology and Geophysics of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, pyroclastic flows and ashfall destroyed flora and fauna on the island and in the crater of the volcano. It had previously recovered from the most recent eruption in 1924.


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