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View from the High Ground January 15, 2022: South Pacific Volcanic Eruption

2022 January 15

Two geostationary satellites captured some incredible images of an explosive eruption from an underwater volcano in the south Pacific on January 15, 2022. The event started at approximately 04:00 UT. The event was captured by NOAA’s GOES-17 West satellite and the Japanese Meteorological Agency’s Himawari-8 satellite.

Image from NOAA’s GOES-17 West satellite. January 15, 2022. Credit: NOAA

The Japanese Meteorological Agency’s Himawari-8 satellite captured this series of images from its perch high above the Pacific. This time-lapse animation covers approximately 80 minutes. Credit: JMA/JAXA/CIRA/CSU.

NOAA’s GOES-17 West satellite caught the eruption from a slightly different angle. This time- lapse animation also covers approximately 80 minutes. Credit: NOAA/CIRA/CSU.

The explosive eruption occurred 70 km north of the island of Nuku’ alofa, Tonga. Nuku’ alofa is 780 km southeast of Fiji and 810 km southwest of American Samoa. The USGS’ preliminary magnitude estimate is 5.8 for the seismic event associated with the eruption. The diameter of the ejecta cloud in this image is approximately 600 km. The annotations are mine. Image Credit: JMA/JAXA/CIRA/CSU.




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