An undersea volcanic eruption that produced the tallest plume ever recorded was measured using the centuries-old stereo photography technique.
Captured on satellites, the eruption of Unga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai in Tonga has been confirmed as the largest atmospheric explosion ever recorded by modern instruments.
The massive explosion, that happened in January, was the equivalent of more than 100 atomic bombs, the force of which wreaked havoc with communication cables in the South Pacific region and triggered a tsunami that hit Tonga and Chile.
According to the Nature journal, the plume that erupted above the sea’s surface was six times the height of Mount Everest, taller than any measured before.
The height of the remarkable eruption was measured using data from observation satellites, including Japan’s Himawari-8 satellite.
“It was just crazy. It’s so much higher and it’s so much bigger than anything I’ve never looked at before,” says Simon Proud, the Oxford University scientist who led the research.
When Proud and his team estimated the height they thought something was wrong. “We were thinking it can’t have gone up as high as it did,” Proud tells The Times.
The plume ejected by the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano in January was so extreme that it reached above the stratosphere not once but twice during the eruption
Read more: pic.twitter.com/NMlUp0sKNQ
— New Scientist (@newscientist) November 5, 2022
After just half an hour of the eruption, the plume was measured to be 187,000 feet high beating the previous record of 131,000 feet high that came out of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991.
In fact, Proud believes that the 187,000 feet figure could be an underestimate, with the team citing a lack of satellite coverage at key moments.
Measuring a Volcano Plume
Proud and his team were able to measure the January eruption thanks to modern satellites. However, they used a 180-year-old technique called stereo photography to do so.
Two photos of the same location from slightly different angles can form a stereoscopic pair. Essentially, when the left eye and right eye see the same thing from slightly different angles a human’s brain combines these two distinct images in such a way that it sees in three dimensions.
It was by using this method with satellite imagery that the research team was able to interpret the plume’s height.
“It’s only really within the last five or ten years this type of thing has been possible, with enough satellites in various different places looking at the same event,” Proud says.
Proud says he was also impressed with the speed of the plume.
After 15 minutes it was 82,000 feet high. After 25 minutes it was 131,000 feet high. After 30 minutes, a dome 295,000 feet wide had risen to 187,000 feet. “It was just breathtaking,” he adds.
Alienware Aurora 2019 (Gaming PC For Best Buy 2023)
Are you a gaming geek who has been waiting to get your hands on the best gaming setup? Then wait...
CNC Machining: An Advanced Way To Prototyping
In today’s rapid technological times, when machines have been produced to cater to all industries sweepingly, the device of CNC...
10 Best Fake ID Websites 2024
For quite some decades now, the world of the internet has advanced with technology and cyber hacks. People from all...
5 Best Alternatives Of Discord In 2023
Voice and text applications are simply phenomenal for connecting with a team of professionals or even for having fun with...
7 Best Sites Like Reddit That Everyone Should Check Out
We know the reason you’re here. Looking for platforms similar to Reddit? We’ve got your back. Reddit is a fantastic...
APAP Login: Everything You Need To Know
In these times when obesity and heart diseases are on the rise, many conditions retrospectively affect people’s brains and bodies....
All You Need To Know About BT Mail Login: Benefits Of BT Mail Login
Are you having trouble with your different logins? Well, we have the solution to your problems as what you might...
Biocentrism Debunked: Consciousness Driving Universe
Are you baffled by the universe’s steady onslaught of expansion, however still curious how your life drives the universe in...
Imginn: A New Way To Anonymous Instagram
Whether you are new to the world of Instagram or a regular user, we all can agree that there have...
5 Best Bathroom Remodeling Contractors Houston
When you give your bathroom a makeover, it will transform the look of the whole house. The bathroom remodeling project...