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Pictures of Kuril Islands Volcano From ISS

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the everyone-likes-an-explosion dept.

Earth 65

KindMind writes "The Daily Mail has cool pictures of the Sarychev Peak (Kuril Islands) volcano eruption taken from the ISS back on June 12. From the article: 'A chance recording by astronauts on the International Space Station has captured the moment a volcano explosively erupted, sending massive shockwaves through the atmosphere. Sarychev Peak, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, had been sitting quietly in the Kuril Island chain near Japan for 20 years, when it suddenly sprang to life on June 12. Fortuitously, the International Space Station was flying overhead at the time, and managed to capture this spectacular image of the ash-cloud tearing through the atmosphere, sending clouds scattering in its wake in a perfect circle.'"

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Check those coordinates again, just to be sure (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28462193)

Looks more like what you'd expect to see over North Korea.

Location? (1)

squiggly12 (1298191) | more than 5 years ago | (#28462209)

Well, from TFA "The extraordinary image was captured by the crew of the International Space Station 220 miles above a remote Russian island in the North Pacific."
Not sure if Japan moved, or if Russia is trying to take over territory. :)
Disclaimer: I did not look for a map to find the location.

Re:Location? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28462317)

Disclaimer: I did not look for a map to find the location.

Too bad there wasn't one two-fifth the way down the page.

Re:Location? (1)

squiggly12 (1298191) | more than 5 years ago | (#28462329)

Sorry, that should have been TFS. letsgetlost tag in summary?

Re:Location? (1)

dwye (1127395) | more than 5 years ago | (#28462353)

> Not sure if Japan moved, or if Russia is trying to take over territory. :)

Russia already took it over, after WWII. OTOH, that is territory that Imperial Russia lost in the Russo-Japanese War, so it ends up a wash.

Cool pictures (1)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28462265)

Is that a big frozen fish?

Overlord Recession (4, Funny)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 5 years ago | (#28462443)

No! That is my previously secret volcanic lair exploding you insensitive clod.

Re:Overlord Recession (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 5 years ago | (#28464595)

What's with you evil overlords and your strong attachments to "self destruct" systems (and volcanic lairs)?

Re:Overlord Recession (3, Funny)

catbertscousin (770186) | more than 5 years ago | (#28464965)

Habit. It's so much easier to give up the cigarettes than the self destruct system for my Fortress of Doom(TM). I mean, when you've already got the lava cascading down one wall and the contractor says "For another 10k I can make the whole place go up in smoke if anything - unfortunate - happens," it's so darn easy to say "And I want fireworks to go off, displaying a taunting message for the hero, too!"

Re:Overlord Recession (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#28485711)

OH NOES! Skullcrusher Mountain [metacafe.com] asploded!

Pfft. (0, Offtopic)

dmomo (256005) | more than 5 years ago | (#28462269)

Video or it didn't happen.

Re:Pfft. (2, Funny)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#28462283)

Video, or I don't believe you exist ;)

Original Source and Large Images (5, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28462281)

The original NASA story is here [nasa.gov] with large desktop background sized images [nasa.gov] . If you don't visit the weekly top ten site [nasa.gov] , you really should. Some of those images are breathtaking. Check out the thunderstorm anvil [nasa.gov] over Africa.

Re:Original Source and Large Images (4, Interesting)

squoozer (730327) | more than 5 years ago | (#28464141)

Thanks for the link some of those pictures are amazing. Being a UKian I was quite interested in the picture of London at night [nasa.gov] (shame it's a little blurred). I downloaded the largest version of the image though (about 1.9mb) and noticed something strange. There are a surprisingly large number of green dots and a few blue dots. What I'm wondering is: are the green dots traffic lights and the blue emergency services?

I could maybe believe that the blue lights are emergency vehicles since they will typically have an uninterrupted path to the camera but traffic lights almost always have a cover which I would have thought would make them hard to spot from above. Perhaps they are just artefacts of low light photography. I'd be interested to know though.

Re:Original Source and Large Images (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#28465409)

Interesting. I see what you're talking about. I think the green spots could be lens flares [wikipedia.org] from the bright area in the middle. If they're traffic lights, isn't it a bit strange that they're all green everywhere with no red in sight? Note that most of the green dots are not uniform, and have some shading. Also note that the farther 'north' you go on the image, the larger and more blurred they are.

Re:Original Source and Large Images (1)

squoozer (730327) | more than 5 years ago | (#28466373)

I hadn't considered lens flare as a cause but having said that it doesn't look like any lens flare I've ever seen. I was wondering if it might be a form of chromatic aberration although that normally seems to result in a blue / purple edge to items. I suspect the camera they are using in the IIS is somewhat special though and it could have a weakness that causes it to record very bright tiny white points as green (e.g. the point covers less than one whole pixel and preferentially activates green). Of course none of that accounts for few fairly clear blue points of light.

Re:Original Source and Large Images (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#28466521)

I recently took some long exposure night shots that had bright point-source lights in them with a Canon 70-300mm telephoto lens and got similar lens flares (greenish and lunate-shaped).

They might be Bokeh [wikipedia.org] . I'd never heard of them before. Also wikipedia says that Anti-reflactive coatings [wikipedia.org] can create strange effects, as you said.

In any case, I think they're artifacts and not actual 'stuff'. As for the blue ones - those might be the cops. 8-)

Re:Original Source and Large Images (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | more than 5 years ago | (#28464671)

Stunning photos! Thanks for the links!

Re:Original Source and Large Images (1)

mr crypto (229724) | more than 5 years ago | (#28465023)

Great weekly pictures. Thanks for the link.

Ooh, excuse me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28462373)

It must have been that bean I ate.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28462391)

In soviet northern territories iss photoes YOU!

Re:Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28464529)

Well done. The wost joke ever. It never even had a chance of being funny.

What happens when you drop a penny from the ISS. (5, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | more than 5 years ago | (#28462413)

Of course NASA will deny everything.

Re:What happens when you drop a penny from the ISS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28462527)

Of course NASA will deny everything.

How the fuck is this informative??

It's OT but WOW (1)

narftrek (549077) | more than 5 years ago | (#28462505)

That article had spectacular volcano photo's no doubt but did anyone notice the article at the bottom of the page about the hole in the universe? I found that way more interesting. Evidently no one thought it noteworthy to speak about it. We know tons of info about volcanoes since we can watch them here on Earth but I think the big "blank spot" in space should be looked at more closely especially since as the photo caption remarks the thing is measured at 500 light years yet no stars are between it and us even though in the rest of the pic you can see stars that do appear closer. Now that is weird.

Re:It's OT but WOW (1)

tibman (623933) | more than 5 years ago | (#28462661)

Yes! I saw that as well, wasn't mentioned in the summary. This is the first time i've heard of a dark molecular cloud? So it blocks out all light from the stars behind it and somehow there are no stars in-front of it even though it's 500 LY away?

"How they are formed is unknown, but clouds such as this are thought to be a birthing place for new stars."
I thought Nebulae were responsible for that?

Re:It's OT but WOW (4, Informative)

pedestrian crossing (802349) | more than 5 years ago | (#28464107)

Yes! I saw that as well, wasn't mentioned in the summary. This is the first time i've heard of a dark molecular cloud? So it blocks out all light from the stars behind it and somehow there are no stars in-front of it even though it's 500 LY away?

500 LY is our local neighborhood, galactically speaking, not even one quarter of the way across the arm of the galaxy's spiral that we are in. The map at the bottom of this [wikipedia.org] page gives an idea of the scale of 500 LY. For comparison, let's look at the Orion nebula [wikipedia.org] (middle "star" in Orion's sword). It is about 1200 LY away, and there aren't very many stars directly between us and it, even though it is about halfway across the arm that we are in.

"How they are formed is unknown, but clouds such as this are thought to be a birthing place for new stars."

I thought Nebulae were responsible for that?

Nebula are typically what's left over after a star dies, and yes can provide the matter for new star formation. But that isn't the only (or even main) mechanism. Anytime you have a large concentration of matter in space, gravity has a tendency to pull it together and form stars [wikipedia.org] .

Re:It's OT but WOW (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28467471)

The part that amazes me is that I, as a human, simply can't comprehend the sheer volume of matter required to form a star. It has to have enough fuel to capable of fusion for billions of years to really be stable. I can calculate and write down the numbers and do the math... but I truly can't visualize in a non-abstract fashion how much matter that is.

Truly amazing.

Re:It's OT but WOW (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 5 years ago | (#28465543)

So it blocks out all light from the stars behind it and somehow there are no stars in-front of it even though it's 500 LY away?

It's only half a light-year across. Given the distribution of stars near here, odds are it would have no more than one or two stars between here and there, and zero isn't terribly unlikely.

Re:It's OT but WOW (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 5 years ago | (#28467487)

So it blocks out all light from the stars behind it and somehow there are no stars in-front of it even though it's 500 LY away?

It doesn't block all the light from the stars behind it. If you look at the edges, you can see a lot of dim, reddish stars that are only somewhat blocked.

As someone else mentioned, it's only about 500 light years away and not very big. The density of stars in this part of the galaxy gives a good probability that there wouldn't be any foreground stars between us and the cloud.

BTW, this is one of the counter-arguments to Olbers' Paradox, which is based on the calculation that if the universe were big enough (or infinite), every line of sight should end at the surface of a star, and the night sky should be as bright as the sun. But astronomers say that most of the mass (at least in nearby galaxies) consists of atomic and molecular clouds which block light from the stars behind them, just as this one does. So it could be true that every straight line from your eye eventually intersects a star, but you can't see it because that line first intersects a cloud like this one.

Re:It's OT but WOW (1)

gearloos (816828) | more than 5 years ago | (#28462667)

Might want to read the FULL story. It's a dust /gas cloud in space.... I also found that interesting, just not particularly anythin to worry about.

Re:It's OT but WOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28465277)

(...)even though in the rest of the pic you can see stars that do appear closer. Now that is weird.

How do you figure?

Almost atomic (5, Interesting)

timpdx (1473923) | more than 5 years ago | (#28462521)

Almost exactly what an atomic detonation would look like from space, even down to the clouds being pushed aside and the "pileus cloud" that you see above atomic blasts from years ago.

Cool Pics (2)

gearloos (816828) | more than 5 years ago | (#28462681)

All I can say is wow, that's cool.

Territorial dispute with Japan (1)

OutputLogic (1566511) | more than 5 years ago | (#28462689)

Are those the same Kuril Islands that are source of the territorial dispute [wikipedia.org] between Russia and Japan. Maybe after that volcano there is a chance Russia and Japan will finally sign a peace agreement - who needs those islands anyways.

OutputLogic [outputlogic.com]

Re:Territorial dispute with Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28463043)

No it's not the same islands. The territorial dispute is over four south Kuril islands. Sarychev island is not one of them

Re:Territorial dispute with Japan (4, Informative)

belmolis (702863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28463257)

Not exactly. Japan claims only the "Southern Kuriles" that is, from Iturup (Japanese Etorofu) southward, as per the Japanese-Russian Treaty of 1855. The Soviet Union attacked Japan at the very end of WWII and occupied all of the Kuriles. Japan is clearly in the right in that the Soviet Union had no legal claim to the Southern Kuriles. Basically, the current Russian occupation was a gift of Japanese territory from Roosevelt and Churchill to Stalin. The island on which the volcano is located, Matua, is in the Northern Kuriles and is not claimed by Japan.

Re:Territorial dispute with Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28463511)

The Soviet Union attacked Japan at the very end of WWII

That's a little misleading [wikipedia.org] . USSR never attacked mainland Japan, only its occupational forces in Manchuria. "Japan is clearly in the right" only because it's a Cold War ally, not for any other reason.

Re:Territorial dispute with Japan (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 5 years ago | (#28463973)

Don't know about these islands but most of those small island that Japan is fighting to keep are done so for fishing rights. If you have islands spread around you control the fishing rights between the islands, you loose the island and it one on the edge you just lost alot of fishing rights.

Re:Territorial dispute with Japan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28466393)

you loose the island and it one on the edge you just lost alot of fishing rights.

maybe you should change your sig to something that doesn't make fun of misusing language. you can't use english any better.

My God... (1)

cplusplus (782679) | more than 5 years ago | (#28462713)

...how I envy those people.

Yay greenhouse! (0, Troll)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 5 years ago | (#28462797)

So how many human civilizations' worth of CO2 and other emissions did that just kick out? ;-)

Re:Yay greenhouse! (5, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28462987)

Well under a 10th of a percent of one, in all likelihood.

"Our studies show that globally, volcanoes on land and under the sea release a total of about 200 million tonnes of CO2 annually...the global fossil fuel CO2 emissions for 2003 tipped the scales at 26.8 billion tonnes." [usgs.gov] (link to source, and so you can see that I didn't do anything sneaky with that elision

Re:Yay greenhouse! (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 5 years ago | (#28463723)

From the USGS "About Us" page"

The emergence of a global economy affects the demand for all resources. In turn, use of these natural resources is occurring on a scale that may modify the terrestrial, marine, and atmospheric environments upon which human civilization depends. The use of and competition for natural resources on the global scale, and natural threats to those resources, has the potential to impact the Nation's ability to sustain its economy, national security, quality of life, and natural environment.

So why, in the Kyoto Accord, are China and India exempted from pollution controls? Are they excused because they are considered "developing economies" and can therefore pollute as much as they want while the western countries pay industrial sin taxes?

Re:Yay greenhouse! (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28464759)

Purely political reasons, I suspect. I'm not really here to fight about climate change, just to answer a question about the relative magnitudes of two values.

Re:Yay greenhouse! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28465751)

Because, on a per country basis, or a per energy-usage basis, let alone a per capita basis, China and India pollute far, far less than the US. Even if China and India tripled their pollution output, on a per-capita basis they would pollute only a small fraction of the amount of pollution per capita that the US would be spewing after conforming to the Kyoto requirements.

Re:Yay greenhouse! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28466333)

Sigh. Yes. Because we (the industrialized countries) have already been at it for ~200 years, have created the great majority of the human-generated CO2 that is in the atmosphere currently, and, logically, we should be the ones to move first on solutions. Upon successfully meeting the initial goals, the plan was for India and China (among other countries) to be held to the same standard, because we can then say "See? It can be done." If we sit back and do nothing, then why shouldn't they proceed to do exactly the same thing we already did for a couple of centuries? The point is: they have ZERO reason to be held to any standard at all, because neither were we for all of that time. They want to do what we did, how can we possibly say "No, you can't do that." However, if we can change, then they can too, and they have no excuse.

If you read the Kyoto Accord, you can find the rationale for the approach taken. It was never intended to be the final agreement, or that developing countries would be off the hook FOREVER. All I hear are people whining about how countries like India and China don't have to do anything. Duh. Neither did we. The level of misunderstanding about this point is amazing. It's like telling the latecomers to a party that they can't have the same amount of pizza that you've been stuffing in your gut for hours, and that you're still consuming faster than ever. The Kyoto Accord is a bargain along the lines of "Look, yes, so far I've been wolfing down pizza as fast as I can get it, but I'll show you I can cut back to 2 slices of pizza an hour, and then isn't it reasonable to expect you do to the same?"

Of course, none of it is likely to happen now, so we're probably going to have to be content with whatever impact will result as developing countries proceed with little or no restraints at all. So much for the pizza.

Re:Yay greenhouse! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28472679)

Probably because they'd just laugh if someone told them they couldn't pollute anymore and had to pay the same "industrial sin taxes" the US does.

Re:Yay greenhouse! (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 5 years ago | (#28465705)

"Our studies show that globally, volcanoes on land and under the sea release a total of about 200 million tonnes of CO2 annually...the global fossil fuel CO2 emissions for 2003 tipped the scales at 26.8 billion tonnes."

As opposed the volcanoes in other places?

How to misunderstand statistics (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28467257)

Our studies show that globally, volcanoes on land and under the sea release a total of about 200 million tonnes of CO2 annually

I see, because we have an eruption of this magnitude every year?

After all, in the normal years with only minor eruptions that normally occur we must have exactly the same levels of gas released as large eruptive events.

Right.

Re:How to misunderstand statistics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28469745)

The comments on this article are a really great example of real science and popular understanding.

Our studies show that globally, volcanoes on land and under the sea release a total of about 200 million tonnes of CO2 annually

I see, because we have an eruption of this magnitude every year?

After all, in the normal years with only minor eruptions that normally occur we must have exactly the same levels of gas released as large eruptive events.

Right.

Where are the facts in your post? It's really scary to think how many people aren't willing to change their point of view based on real science. Sure, to you and me, it looks like a huge difference in volume. I mean, a volcano! Maybe it's a matter of global perspective. I recommend traveling more.

The data of the parent post stand, do you have an empirical response to it, or not? In other words, "shit, or get off the pot."

Re:Yay greenhouse! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28463983)

So how many human civilizations' worth of CO2 and other emissions did that just kick out? ;-)

TFA doesn't say, but as its the Daily Mail it did mention that its the same volume of CO2 produced daily by all the asylum seekers in the UK.

Re:Yay greenhouse! (4, Interesting)

radtea (464814) | more than 5 years ago | (#28465305)

So how many human civilizations' worth of CO2 and other emissions did that just kick out? ;-)

The comments on the original are to the same tune. What makes anyone think that volcanoes are a significant source of CO2? Where would the CO2 that volcanoes are supposed to emit come from?

Volcanoes do emit some C02 [realclimate.org] , but then, they emit some of just about everything. Their climate effects are mostly reduced atmospheric heat content due to an increase in ash and aerosols in the upper atmosphere. This effect is particularly pronounced for tropical volcanoes because (surprise!) Earth gets most of its sunlight in the tropics, and while the ash/aerosol cloud does spread out over a few months timescale to all latitudes, its effect is greatest at the latitude of the volcano.

"Volcanoes emit far more CO2 than humans" is the equivalent of "Anthropogenic CO2 emissions increase the frequency and severity of hurricanes". The majority of people on both sides in the public debate on climate change have left the science far, far behind, and are happy to believe stuff that "just makes sense" to them.

Either Mushroom Volcano Cloud Or... (4, Funny)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28462917)

Could also be a picture of what happens when I try to talk to a woman in a bar.

Frodo!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28463017)

Now, see, wasn't that easier when you just had the stupid eagle fly you ever there instead of *walking* the whole way?

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28464351)

I think the Japanese are be hide this is, it is a test of there gundam at daiba park they assembled at 11 june..

Gundam at North Shiokaze Park Tokyo Daiba 11 june

they say it is a statue but I dont think so I was there and ik looks to real !! ..

they did a test run and tried the weapons on that poor vulcano next target north korea..

http://punynari.wordpress.com/2009/05/15/may-progress-on-rx78-life-sized-gundam/

Japanese Ministry of Agriculture... (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 5 years ago | (#28464569)

...Hard at work.

Equivalent to billions of cows?.. (0, Redundant)

mi (197448) | more than 5 years ago | (#28465199)

Seriously, how many cow-burps and -farts was this eruption equivalent to, as far as "global warming" is concerned? People seem to seriously engage in breeding cows, that produce less methane [telegraph.co.uk] . If a volcano can negate the benefits of such research for decades in a single eruption, perhaps there is no point in doing it — better concentrate on eruption-prevention...

Re:Equivalent to billions of cows?.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28465691)

A similar question has already been answered in this thread:

"So how many human civilizations' worth of CO2 and other emissions did that just kick out?"

Well under a 10th of a percent of one, in all likelihood.

"Our studies show that globally, volcanoes on land and under the sea release a total of about 200 million tonnes of CO2 annually...the global fossil fuel CO2 emissions for 2003 tipped the scales at 26.8 billion tonnes." [usgs.gov] (link to source, and so you can see that I didn't do anything sneaky with that elision
http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/volcanowatch/2007/07_02_15.html

An explanation for the circular hole in the clouds (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28465369)

sending clouds scattering in its wake in a perfect circle

clouds being pushed aside

The circular hole in the stratus cloud deck is pretty cool, but I think it's not caused by the detonation pushing clouds away. Unlike a firecracker or grenade explosion, the amount of gas released is tiny compared to the amount of air heated by the blast. The clear-sky circle isn't caused by air moving outward *away* from the volcano, but rather down, *toward* it.

What goes up must come down. The volcano heats air near it, causing it to rise and forming the ash column at the center. But if that air is rising, air nearby the volcano must be *descending* to compensate. Rising air cools adiabatically, causing water vapor to condense, forming clouds; descending air warms adiabatically, causing water droplets to evaporate, making the clouds vanish.

Here's a good joke (1)

fredrated (639554) | more than 5 years ago | (#28465389)

The first two images in the story are exactly the same, just rotated on a diagonal line going from the lower left corner to the upper right corner. So much for "the eruption continues unabated"!

Explanation for clear sky circle near volcano (1)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 5 years ago | (#28465805)

sending clouds scattering in its wake in a perfect circle

clouds being pushed aside

As I see it, the clouds aren't being "blasted away" by any kind of shock wave or gas flowing outward from the volcano. Unlike a firecracker or grenade, the amount gas released by a big eruption is tiny compared to the amount of air heated by it.

As air is heated by the volcano, it rises. But if air is flowing up away from the volcano, air a further away from the volcano must be sinking to compensate.

You may know how clouds form: as moist air rises, it cools adiabatically and water starts to condense, forming droplets. It works both ways: if air is forced to *sink*, it warms adiabatically, and cloud droplets evaporate.

The clear-sky circle isn't a shock blast, it's a simple case of "what goes up must also come down".

Keep your spying eyes off me ! (1)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 5 years ago | (#28466065)

Ha ! Who's going to claim now that the government aren't really monitoring my every move with their high flying satellites, mole machines and robotic cuckoos.

'Just happened to be in the the right place' to film this eruption, pull the other one !

I say we take off, and nuke the site from orbit. (1)

21mhz (443080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28472959)

It's the only way to be sure.

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