Sunday, January 22, 2006

Volcanocam captures small "event" at Mount St Helens

At 10:43 this morning there was a larger temor recorded on the webicorders at Mount St Helens. This trace from the PNSN Mount St Helens - West (SHW) webicorder shows the event as the dark sqiggle - the automated seismic reporting system hasn't reported the even so far, but it is probably between magnitude 2 and 3.

The corresponding images from the USFS Volcanocam clearly show a small plume of steam/ash rising into the sky following the tremor.

The night time glow returns to Mount St Helens

The clouds parted last night to provide us with the first extended nighttime views of the incandescent glow from the growing lavadome on Mount St Helens since 14 December 2005! This morning the Volcanocam is also providing our first daylight views of the crater as well. Revealing a snow covered mountain with the active portions of the lavadome as a distinct area free of snow cover.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Cassini approaches Titan

One year after the Huygens spaceprobe successfully landed on the surface of Saturn's moon Titan, the Cassini spacecraft will make another close flyby of the moon early tomorrow morning.

Titan from a distance of approximately 1,257,518 kilometers, taken on 13 January 2006.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute

A fireball in the sky

If you live anywhere between Bakersfield in California and Surrey in British Columbia, you may be able to catch a glimpse of the anticipated fireball as the Stardust probe returns to Earth Sunday morning at 1:56:39 a.m. PST.

After the Stardust capsule returns safely to earth, you may want to consider giving NASA scientists a hand to find the stardust it is hopefully carrying onboard! See Stardust@home for the full project details.

UPDATE: NASA's Stardust sample return capsule successfully landed at the U.S. Air Force Utah Test and Training Range at 2:10 a.m. Pacific time (3:10 a.m. Mountain time).

Stardust Capsule Return as seen from NASA's DC-8 Airborne Laboratory

Mount St Helens and Augustine Volcanoes

Clouds continue to obscure the view of Mount St Helens, so we still haven't had a clear view of the mountain for almost a month, either during the day or at night. There was one noticeably stronger tremor last night at 18:01 and the Volcanocam is currently showing nothing more than clouds.

I have posted an animation of the activity on Mount St Helens on the 18, 19 and 20th August 2005 on Google Video - you can view it online or download for iPod, Sony PSP, Windows & Mac for no charge, although the downloads require the installation of the Google Video player.

Kevision posted a note on Daz Dayz pointing out the volcanic action happening up at the Augustine volcano in Alaska. The Alaska volcano observatory also has a webcam to view the eruptions progress - possibly something to check out until the weather clears at Mount St Helens - although at present it is also showing a cloudy view :-)

Saturday, January 07, 2006

The Volcanocam returns!

The views of Mount St Helens crater are once agin being streamed to the world via the Volcanocam at the Johnson Ridge Observatory (JRO). The camera has been out of action since the 14th December 2005 due to a problem with the communications server, which has now been replaced. Unfortunately, the weather is not really co-operating and the views of the crater have been obscured by clouds for the last 24 hours!

If you are interested in views of the night sky (and don't have the same problem with clouds), the website Universe Today has a wonderful e-book available called What's Up 2006 - 365 Days of Skywatching. It provides a guide on what's in the sky every night for the coming year, and best of all it's free!

Click Here