Seen From Space, Iceland’s new Volcano Lights up the Island at Night – Universe Today

You’ve most likely seen gorgeous photographs of the evening aspect of the Earth from house. Most individuals have seen the veritable constellations of metropolis lights scattered familiarly throughout the continents, separated by broad of darkness. You very nicely could have seen some gorgeous movies from the ISS exhibiting the dynamic and mesmerizing ribbons of the polar aurorae and the much more frenetic flashes of nighttime lightning storms. For those who’re a frequent reader of this web site, you’ve seemingly even seen the results of rolling blackouts in the course of the catastrophic winter storms of February 2021 in Houston, as seen from house. Add one other explosively extraordinary phenomenon to the checklist of nighttime house views; the March 2021 volcanic eruption in Iceland!.

A defend volcano in Iceland named Mount Fagradalsfall started erupting after centuries of dormancy in mid-March. The exact location of the eruption is in an adjoining valley generally known as Geldingadalur valley. The realm could be seen as a brand new brilliant spot within the southwest of the North Atlantic island. The good vulcanism appears practically as brilliant as Reykjavik, some fifty kilometers to the northeast.

VIIRS picture of Iceland earlier than the eruption. score: Joshua Stevens and NASA Earth Observatory
VIIRS picture of Iceland in the course of the eruption. Be aware the brilliant spot within the southwestern area of the island. The intense metropolis lights northeast of the eruption are made by Rekjavik, the capital metropolis: Credit score: Joshua Stevens and NASA Earth Observatory

The nighttime images launched by NASA’s Earth Observatory are comprised of information from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). Flying aboard the Suomi NPP satellite mission VIIRS collects mild in each the seen and infrared parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. 

One other orbital view affords a detailed, close-up view of the eruption. The Operational Land Imager (OLI)  aboard Landsat 8 reveals a Tolkienesque view of the Icelandic eruption in infrared. 

OLI picture of clouds lit from beneath in shortwave and near-infrared.Joshua Stevens and NASA Earth Observatory

Whereas these photographs are enthralling, there’s no have to be alarmed or really feel anxiousness for the residents of Iceland presently. Defend volcanoes (Kilauea in Hawaii is a well-known instance) should not violently explosive. Whereas they’ll produce copious quantities of lava and could final for years, they’re comparatively predictable and, a minimum of by way of volcanoes, peaceable.

The Suomi NPP satellite tv for pc which homes a number of devices for imaging the Earth, together with VIIRS. Credit score: NASA

These unprecedented views of the eruption seen by numerous space-based, Earth- observatories are gorgeous. The that science has made in understanding the planet is awe-inspiring. The idea of plate tectonics, which explains Iceland’s well-known geological exercise, was solely broadly accepted within the 1960s! To advance from not understanding the essential actions of the Earth’s crust to having a number of satellites producing high quality decision observations whereas touring practically ten kilometers per second in house is mind-blowing. Ought to you end up approached by somebody who doubts house packages’ significance, remind them that we extraordinary perception into our homeworld due to these packages. Life on Earth is immeasurably improved due to packages like VIIRS and OMI, amongst others. Additionally, come on, what’s cooler than watching an historical Icelandic volcano erupt from outer house at evening?

Main Picture: Comparability of VIIRS photographs of Iceland earlier than and in the course of the eruption. Credit score: Joshua Stevens and NASA Earth Observatory

Comply with Ralph Crewe on Twitter @RalphCrewe

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