Sunday, April 5, 2009

Redoubt eruption Saturday seen from space - in Renton, WA basement.

After watching for a while, I finally found that I captured some images of one of Mt. Redoubt's eruptions from my basement station. Yesterday, (Saturday 4/4/09 5:55 ADT) the volcano blew off a nice big ash cloud to 50,000 feet. The NOAA-17 satellite made a pass (click right photo) over the area about 4 hours later where you can see that the mountain was still busy spewing. The next image (left photo) was about 7 hours later NOAA-18 passed, Redoubt had calmed down, but the big ash cloud can be still seen extending to the south.
Homer, Alaska was right in the path of the plume and for a while it totally blocked out daylight while the ash fell on the snow. Probably familiar if you rememberber St. Helens and Eastern Washington back in 1980.
The skies were sunny over Seattle for a change, with high hazy stuff, but we'll take it over the snow we have had this week! Also, look closely at the ocean near San Francisco, airplane contrails can be seen over the water.
The NOAA satellites that are active are NOAA 15,16,17,18, and 19. I don't get anything from NOAA-16 since it's APT transmitter screwed up shortly after the satellite went active, and NOAA-19 was just launched a few months ago and will be the last of this series of spacecraft. The satellites are in a polar orbit where they orbit over the poles and cover the whole Earth. If the satellite is above the horizon, I can pick it up and it will send down images of what it is directly flying over at the time at about 500 miles above the Earth. The signals can easily be heard on a Radio Shack police scanner (or similar) around 137 Mhz.

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