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3-min read

Astronauts Take Rare Pictures from Space of Raikoke Volcano Erupting

The latest eruption, on June 22, billowed forth such a massive and magnificent cloud of ash over the island that it was visible all the way from space.

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Updated:July 1, 2019, 3:41 PM IST
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Astronauts Take Rare Pictures from Space of Raikoke Volcano Erupting
The latest eruption, on June 22, billowed forth such a massive and magnificent cloud of ash over the island that it was visible all the way from space.
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Raikoke, an uninhabited island in northwest Pacific had last erupted in 1924, until now.

Astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS) have captured stunning pictures of the volcano that has erupted for the first time in 95 years.

The latest eruption, on June 22, billowed forth such a massive and magnificent cloud of ash over the island that it was visible all the way from space.

The viral imagery shared on social media by NASA has since then, gone viral.

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Image Credits: Reuters.

Taking to their official Twitter account, NASA shared the images, along with the caption, "Raikoke Volcano on the Kuril Islands rarely erupts.

It most recently exploded in 1778 and 1924. The dormant period ended around 4:00 a.m. local time on June 22, 2019, when a vast plume of ash and volcanic gases shot up from its 700-meter-wide crater. "

According to NASA earth observatory, on their website, "Unlike some of its perpetually active neighbors on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Raikoke Volcano on the Kuril Islands rarely erupts." They further wrote that several satellites, as well as astronauts on the International Space Station, "observed as a thick plume rose and then streamed east as it was pulled into the circulation of a storm in the North Pacific." According to NASA, on the morning of June 22, astronauts shot a photograph (above) of the volcanic plume rising in a narrow column and then spreading out in a part of the plume known as the umbrella region. Soon after being posted, netizens started commenting on the image, with one writing, "Love the flat top as the gases and ash rise up and hit a temperature inversion. At a guess, that flat bit is near the boundary between the troposphere and stratosphere." Another person wrote, "Was Pompei buried 2000 years ago in a similar eruption or worse? Beautiful pic, NASA and nice exolabation for the flatness on top." Here's what they wrote:

Notably, according to a report by the Smthsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History’s Global Volcanism Program, there were at least nine explosions, with six of them happening within 25 minutes.

The ashes rose up to 42,000 feet and drifted to the east.

According to the Tokyo and Anchorage Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers the ash from the eruption had reached an altitude of 13 kilometers (8 miles).

Meanwhile, data from the CALIPSO satellite indicate that parts of the plume may have reached 17 kilometers (10 miles).

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