ISS Captured Sarychev Volcano Eruption

Sarychev Volcano

Sarychev Volcano erupted on June 12th, 2009 and was captured by the orbiting International Space Station and a few high-resolution images and a video were made available by NASA for you to be awed at.

A fortuitous orbit of the International Space Station allowed the astronauts this striking view of Sarychev volcano (Russia’s Kuril Islands, northeast of Japan) in an early stage of eruption on June 12, 2009. Sarychev Peak is one of the most active volcanoes in the Kuril Island chain and is located on the northwestern end of Matua Island.

Prior to June 12, the last explosive eruption had occurred in 1989 with eruptions in 1986, 1976, 1954 and 1946 also producing lava flows. Commercial airline flights were diverted from the region to minimize the danger of engine failures from ash intake. This detailed photograph is exciting to volcanologists because it captures several phenomena that occur during the earliest stages of an explosive volcanic eruption.

The main column is one of a series of plumes that rose above Matua Island (48.1 degrees north latitude and 153.2 degrees east longitude) on June 12. The plume appears to be a combination of brown ash and white steam. The vigorously rising plume gives the steam a bubble-like appearance; the surrounding atmosphere has been shoved up by the shock wave of the eruption. The smooth white cloud on top may be water condensation that resulted from rapid rising and cooling of the air mass above the ash column, and is probably a transient feature (the eruption plume is starting to punch through). The structure also indicates that little to no shearing winds were present at the time to disrupt the plume. By contrast, a cloud of denser, gray ash — most probably a pyroclastic flow — appears to be hugging the ground, descending from the volcano summit. The rising eruption plume casts a shadow to the northwest of the island (bottom center). Brown ash at a lower altitude of the atmosphere spreads out above the ground at upper right. Low-level stratus clouds approach Matua Island from the east, wrapping around the lower slopes of the volcano. Only about 1.5 kilometers of the coastline of Matua Island (upper center) can be seen beneath the clouds and ash.

volcano1 384x300 ISS Captured Sarychev Volcano Eruption

Here’s a closer view:

volcano2 291x300 ISS Captured Sarychev Volcano Eruption
 ISS Captured Sarychev Volcano Eruption

Slow Motion Shaolin Warriors

Slow motion Shaolin Warrior Monks: A human special this week on Slow Mo, as Sam and Si reveal what sets us apart from other primates, with some acrobatic help from the shaolin warriors. With limited time, and a new camera to play with, can they capture the lightning fast moves of the world’s most successful animal? Find out more about human anatomy.


Enjoying The New Tomb Raider

Lara Croft in Tomb Raider

Since the latest patch for the new Tomb Raider game allowed the option to turn off the horrible screen effects, where mud, blood, and raindrops linger on the screen, I decided to finally try the game out. Especially since the drivers from NVIDIA has greatly improved performance, which allowed me to turn the graphical settings to their highest.

I’m amazed at how great the game is. It’s been a while since the last game that made me grin and have so much fun. Although the QTE’s have soured the experience, the rest of the game is well-done and a great testament to a fun adventure that the original two games brought to the table.

I’ve recorded a couple of unedited videos, which you can check out below (click on each picture to watch):

TombRaider 2013 04 03 11 01 10 41 450x281 Enjoying The New Tomb Raider
TombRaider 2013 04 08 13 39 03 13 450x281 Enjoying The New Tomb Raider