Posted on Wednesday May 21, 2008 by Richard
Regular readers may have noticed I’ve not been posting very much over the last few weeks, but don’t worry – I’m not giving up blogging! I’ve been quite busy lately and blogging takes quite a lot of time up – hopefully I’ll have the time to do more posts soon.
Thanks for visiting!
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Posted on Wednesday May 7, 2008 by Richard
It may not have done anything for 9000 years, but now Chile’s Chaitén volcano has decided to start erupting it’s doing it big-time. Blowing ash 12 miles up into the sky, it has caused stunning ‘dirty storms’ where the huge dust clouds have turned into ferocious lightning storms. The photos are pretty breathtaking – although I must say I’m glad I don’t live anywhere what seems like a volcano taken out of the apocalypse.
It looks stunning, but just how do you get so much lightning at once? Basically, as the billions of ash and dust particles rub together in the sky, static electricity causes some of them to become charged – just like rubbing a balloon on your jumper can make it become statically charged.
These charged ash and dust particles can then trigger huge bolts of lightning, some reaching down to the ground and some staying between the clouds. The result: a dazzling show of light – and of course sound as well.
Chaitén’s not just making dirty storms – its ash clouds are spreading right over as far as the Atlantic Ocean, and it’s spewing lava out too (although not at a very high rate yet). It’s definitely something to keep an eye on over the next few days.
National Geographic’s done a great interactive detailing everything you could ever want to know about volcanoes – click here.
Filed under: Environment, Exploration, Nature, Science | Tagged: ash, chaiten, Chile, Earth, eruption, lava, Planet Earth, tectonic, tectonic activity, volcano, volcanoes | 2 Comments »