Hello Cleveland! Rock (and ash and lava) and roll!

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
June 3 2006 11:50 AM

Hello Cleveland! Rock (and ash and lava) and roll!


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An astronaut aboard the ISS saw the Cleveland volcano erupting (that's in the Aleutian Islands, folks, not Ohio) and snapped this image of it from orbit. Wow. The eruption was fairly minor, lasting only a couple of hours, but this is an incredibly dramatic photo. I am not a big fan of the space station (in fact, I believe I have used the word "useless" for it in the past) but on occasion some good comes of it.

From the article linked, it looks like the astronaut was the first person to know the volcano was erupting! That's pretty cool, if true. You don't generally think of space travel being useful this way, but there you go. There are hidden uses for being in space, things that may (I could really say "will") help us all in the long run. This is just a taste of that, and an amazing taste it is.'

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!