Menu

Blog

May 11, 2022

Satellite mission finds that Tonga volcanic eruption effects reached space

Posted by in categories: climatology, satellites

When the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted on Jan. 15, 2022, it sent atmospheric shock waves, sonic booms, and tsunami waves around the world. Now, scientists are finding the volcano’s effects also reached space.

Analyzing data from NASA’s Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) mission and ESA’s (the European Space Agency) Swarm satellites, scientists found that in the hours after the eruption, hurricane-speed winds and unusual electric currents formed in the —Earth’s electrified upper atmospheric layer at the edge of .

“The volcano created one of the largest disturbances in space we’ve seen in the modern era,” said Brian Harding, a physicist at University of California, Berkeley, and lead author on a new paper discussing the findings. “It is allowing us to test the poorly understood connection between the lower atmosphere and space.”

Leave a reply