Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The clouds part and the mountain glows again

Mount St Helens is clear of clouds this morning and there is a small plume rising above the crater rim visible on the Volcanocam images. Last night there was a good view of the crater with a small rock fall from the lavadome noticeable at 21:40 and then a much larger rockfall and bright outburst at 23:50, which corresponded to a larger tremor clearly visible in the SHW webicorder trace. A new animation of last nights display is available here.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Three tremors - three bright outbursts from the lavadome

There were three bright outbursts of activity from the lavadome on Mount St Helens last night around 23:45, 00:25 and 03:40, which corresponded in time with tremors of magnitudes M2.8, M2.4, and M2.8.

According to the USGS the new lavadome continues to grow with the rate of addition of lava to the dome from mid-May to mid-June remained at about 1.5 cubic meters (2 cubic yards) per second. The high point of the lava dome (the actively growing spine) on June 15 was 2,335 meters (7,660 feet), but it is currently lower than that owing to the recent large rock falls from the spine. They have also posted a new animation of the lavadome growth from June 16 to August 16, compiled from images taken by the remote camera at the location called the Sugarbowl.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Another blast on the mountain

While the overall levels of seismicity have been decreasing over the last few weeks, Mount St Helens continues to put on some impressive displays at night. Last night there was a bright outburst at 01:00, obviously due to a rockfall on the growing lavadome, exposing fresh hot rock to view.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Another blast of an evening...

While Mount St Helens wasn't as active as Thursday night, it still put on an interesting show last night. There was a large outburst from the crater after 23:40, which also appeared to generate a large plume of dust and steam. See the movies here.

Friday, August 19, 2005

A spectacular display on Mount St Helens last night!

The volcano gave a fine performance last night, with numerous bright outbursts illuminating the night sky around 21:20, 22:50 and 01:20. The larger outbursts were also associated with small dust/steam plumes that were illuminated by the reflected glow of the lavadome. New animations of last nights show are available here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The incandescent glow appears

On the 12th August USGS photographer Elliot Endo captured a sequence of images of the lavadome on Mount St Helens following the sunset.

Just for fun I have combined these images into a short animation - hopefully giving a sense of watching the incandescent glow appear as the night falls. After all, its interesting to see the details of that make up the diffuse brightness we see on the nightly Volcanocam images...

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Zoom in on icy Enceladus

The NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini spacecraft made its closest appraoch to Saturn's moon Enceladus on the 14th July. The Cassini imaging team have combined the images from the flyby into an impressive animated movie that shows increasingly high-resolution views of this active and intriguing icy moon.

The Volcanocam's broke!

UPDATE: The Volcanocam is working again!!! New images started apearing on the Volcanocam pages just after 10:30 this morning.

The US Forest Service Volcanocam has stopped transmitting images from the Johnson Ridge Observatory at Mount St Helens. The last image to be sent was from 18:35 on Friday night. The problem has occurred several times in the past and is presumably due to a communications failure between JRO and the web server. Unfortunately, the webmaster is away for two weeks starting last Wednesday, so it may be another week before its fixed...

There were a couple of larger tremors last night around 18:30 and 02:20 which are clearly visible on the St Helens - West webicorder trace and there was a M3.2 tremor at 18:10 on Friday night that was associated with a small plume of dust, and several other smaller tremors that night. However, until the communications problem is resolved, we won't know if this caused any heightened levels of activity during the night.

The USGS/CVO have just released a new movie of the growth/decay of the lavadome from the Sugarbowl camera - definitely worth a look!

Monday, August 08, 2005

My God, it's full of galaxies...

The final words in Arthur C. Clarke's novel, 2001: A Space Odessy, were from Dave who exlaimed, "My God, it's full of stars!"

Looking at the new deep space image from the Hubble Space Telescope I was equally awestruck and felt like paraphrasing those wonderful words. Because apart from a dozen foreground stars, every bright spec in this image is a galaxy. Each with tens or hundreds of millions of stars of its own...

Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Mark August 12th in your diary for the Perseid Meteor shower

The annual Perseid meteor shower peaks this week in the early hours of August 12th. But if you want to see one of the best meteor showers of the year, you will need to get up a couple of hours before dawn and look to the east!

And if the weather is bad, you can always listen to the meteors on this link to a meteor radar station in Roswell, New Mexico.

Mount St Helens - steady as she goes

Over the last few nights the level of activity on Mount St Helens has been reasonably constant with only a few minor outbursts of activity. The reduced level of activity is a direct result of the Deterioration of the lavadome over the last month, as evidenced by the images from the Sugarbowl camera taken on 4 th August and 5th July. The lavadome has lost much of its structure due to ongoing rock falls, but extrusion of lava continues, so further interesting events are still likely over the coming months!

Monday, August 01, 2005

More tremors and another bright show on Mount St Helens

The mountain was partially obscured by clouds in the early part of the evening and then again early this morning before sunrise. However, there have been two M3.0 tremors in the last 24 hours, and the one that occurred at 00:15 was associated with a bright outburst from the lavadome.

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