Raikoke Volcano Eruption – A View From Space

In the Kuril Islands there was a short-term, but powerful eruption of the volcano, which was accompanied by a large discharge of ash to a height of 15 km. Almost no one noticed the eruption, except for a few crews of ships  in the Pacific Ocean, but several spacecraft could see this event from space. The ash trail of the volcano is a convenient occasion to get acquainted with the available means of monitoring the Earth.

Many meteorological satellites created by the largest space agencies are looking at our planet. Many of the results of their shooting are open to general use, and anyone can look at our common house from different angles and from different heights.

The European satellite Sentinel-3 flies at an altitude of about 800 km and shoots with a resolution of about 300 meters. His frame allows you to imagine the scale of the event.

Sentinel-3 Satellite Captures Eruption of Raikoke Volcano

Similarly, only a little later, the  American satellite Terra took off the Raikoke volcano . Its flight altitude is about 670 km, and the resolution of images is up to 250 meters.

Terra Satellite Imprints Eruption of Raikoke Volcano

Russia has a series of Meteor-M satellites, but the data from them is available only upon request, or you need to set up your own receiving station . There are still devices of  the Resource  and Canopus series, but they also need a request.  Roscosmos open data geoportal does not seem to be updated, at least there weren’t a single snapshot from June 22nd.

Much higher around the Earth, other meteorological satellites revolve – geostationary. At an altitude of about 36 thousand km, a satellite flying in the equatorial plane makes one revolution around the planet in 24 hours, i.e. it is always above the same point on the surface of the earth. This opportunity is often used by telecommunication and broadcasting companies, but there are also weather satellites there. Being in various “points of standing” they survey the planet each on its own side and are shooting with high frequency. So the Japanese satellite Himawari-8 is located in the most convenient place for observing the eruptions in the Kuril Islands.

Thanks to shooting with a period of 10 min, it is possible to see the entire process of eruption in a day.

Japanese satellite Himawari-8 captures the eruption of the volcano Raikoke

Himawari-8 image resolution is 500 meters.

Japanese satellite Himawari-8 captures the eruption of the volcano Raikoke

Russia also has one meteorological satellite in geostationary orbit – Electro-L2. The data from it is in the public domain , but, unfortunately, the recent eruption did not fall into the area of ​​the survey.

Data from the Electro-L2 satellite

The most incredible thing is that this eruption turned out to be visible even from a distance of 1.5 million km from the Earth – it is four times farther than the moon. From this distance, the NASA camera on the DSCOVR satellite looks at our planet, its telescope always observes  our planet from the illuminated side. The device is located between the Earth and the Sun in the so-called ” Lagrange point .”

Earth from satellite DSCOVR

Of course, these are far from all the satellites that capture the Earth. There are many spacecraft that observe with a much higher resolution of images, of their frames are Google and Yandex maps, they are used by military and civilian public services. But, as a rule, such satellites work according to a pre-written program, not for free, and remove only what they order, and events such as short-term volcanic eruptions do not fall into their program.

This eruption was also removed by the crew of the International Space Station.

Eruption of Raikoke Volcano from the ISS

Author: Melinda Sherween

I have worked as an art consultant and Home Designer for eight years at all now. As an art consultant, she was first employed in a local art gallery in San Francisco, where I was responsible for picking the most suitable artwork for her clients depending on their goals and budget. Also, I love to craft and fix stuffs at home and want to share my knowledge with my audience)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *